We love our morning cup of Joe for its energy boost. But what’s not to love so much is that a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found coffee is the primary source of polyphenols in the American diet—and we would be better served by adding more colorful options.
Polyphenols are a class of plant-based antioxidants involved in reducing the free-radical-induced cellular damage that can contribute to diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. The study reported that the average adult consumed (on any given day during a 10-year period) about 884 milligrams of polyphenols for every 1,000 calories—a reasonable amount until you consider that 39.6% of those antioxidants come from coffee.
While polyphenols contribute to the healthiness of coffee—at least when it’s not drowned in sugar and cream—the study’s authors stress that people should be getting more of those micronutrients from vibrant fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, instead of from the morning brew.
See also: Your Brain on Plant Chemicals
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