Millions of Americans drink it, millions of Americans can’t start their day without it. Even as I write sits a nice, hot cup of Bright Sky Blend java. However, what you may or may not know is that desperately needed morning ritual is also packed with antioxidants.
Coffee provides the highest level of antioxidants than any other dietary source, nothing else even comes close. Also, you’ll be happy to know this includes both caffeinated and decaf. That said, I am not for one moment suggesting you put down the blueberries, and veggies. (I’m sure you already knew that, but nevertheless, it had to be said).
So what are antioxidants? Think of what a rust proof paint job would do for a car – protect it from falling apart. Well, that is what antioxidants do for our bodies. Antioxidants are nutrients (vitamins and minerals) as well as enzymes (proteins in your body that assist in chemical reactions). Antioxidants prevent or slow cell damage, and protect the body from free-radicals. Antioxidants are chemicals that interact with and neutralize free radicals, thus preventing them from causing damage. Antioxidants are also known as “free radical scavengers.”
Now what exactly are free-radicals? The nucleus of an atom is surrounded by a cloud of electrons. These electrons surround the nucleus in pairs, but occasionally an atom loses an electron, leaving the whole atom with an “unimpaired” electron. This atom is called a “free radical”, and is very reactive” When cells in the body encounter a free radical, the reactive radical may cause destruction in the cell. The free radical theory of aging, cells continuously kills the cell. When free radicals kill or damage enough cells in an organism, the organism ages (your skin is your largest organ). Not only have free radicals been linked to premature aging, but more importantly in time, and with repeated attacks that the body cannot stop, that damage can lead to a host of chronic disease, including cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.
Don’t like coffee? As an alternative, go for a cup of black tea. Black tea is also high in antioxidants.
So the next time you have your morning jolt, you can also take comfort in knowing you are doing something good for your health as well.