Does Coffee Contain Antioxidants? (Interesting Facts)

There is no doubt that coffee contains numerous antioxidants which are beneficial for your health. Along with providing you with a boost of energy, coffee is the largest source of antioxidants within the western diet.

Drinking coffee every day for the morning caffeine rush is a common habit of most people around the world.  It gives you that alertness and makes you feel less sleepy.

You feel energized and ready to take on the world. Along with all this, coffee is doing exceptional things for your health, more than you can imagine.  This antioxidant-enriched beverage is good for your health but only if consumed in moderation.

But let’s find out more about this.

What Are The Antioxidants In Coffee?

Many compounds have antioxidant properties in coffee like chlorogenic acid, caffeine, trigonelline, quinine, and hydroxycinnamic. Other vital nutrients with antioxidant properties include magnesium, lycopene, riboflavin, beta-carotene, and many vital vitamins like B-12, C, E, A. All of these anti-oxidants help you improve your body’s health and repairs your damaged cells.

Fifty percent of America are avid coffee drinkers. They consume about 1 to 2 cups daily to get their caffeine fix. Though this is a popular beverage, ongoing researches find new things about coffee every once in a while.

Initially, it was believed that coffee is a toxic drink due to the caffeine in it. But later on, studies found that caffeine was not the bad guy if consumed in moderation. It can improve your memory, alertness and also make you lose weight. You can read more here if you’re interested in knowing about the health benefits of coffee.

Perhaps, they also found out that coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants for Americans – due to the amount of its consumption. It fulfills about 60% of the daily antioxidant requirements of the body. That’s great, right? So, what are the antioxidants present in coffee?

It’s jampacked with compounds that have antioxidants properties. Each antioxidant has a different effect on the body.

These antioxidant compounds are as follows:

Quinine

The bitter taste of coffee comes from this organic compound primarily used to treat malaria. Quinine is present in plants from the Rubiaceae family. Coffee belongs to this family of plants.

The main reason that coffee has tons of anti-oxidants is because of this sole substance. It becomes more powerful when the coffee beans are roasted. It breaks down and form various other antioxidants thus making coffee healthy to drink.

Chlorogenic Acid

The most prominent organic compound in coffee is chlorogenic acid CGA.

It is majorly responsible for giving coffee its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. Raw green coffee beans help to boost the metabolism rate and burn fat in the body.

When roasted the CGA is transformed into chlorogenic acid lactone CGL that regulates glucose levels thus keeps your blood sugar normal.  

This video explains a bit more about this.

very informative!

Trigonelline

An antioxidant compound present in coffee that has anti-bacterial properties for the teeth. Trigonelline prevents cavities from happening in the teeth. Also, it is responsible for giving coffee the bitter flavor profile and that unique aroma.   

It is mostly concentrated when the coffee beans are raw. When the roasting process starts, the trigonelline begins to break down into Nicotinic acid or commonly known as Niacin or Vitamin B3.

Vitamin B3 is a crucial nutrient required to maintain your body’s functionality. It helps to ease arthritis, decrease cholesterol levels and improve your nervous system.

Hydroxycinnamic

Hydroxycinnamic acid is found abundantly in coffee. It is one of the most powerful and active anti-oxidant.

This single-handedly neutralizes the oxidants and reduces their negative impact in each healthy cell. It also clears your intestinal walls from toxins and with regular consumption provides anti-inflammation properties too.

Caffeine

Everybody is familiar with caffeine. Half the population drinks coffee because of caffeine and its benefits. It’s predominantly known for elevating mood, giving immediate alertness, energy-boost, decreasing fatigue, and overall improving brain functions.

In addition to all this, it also aids in weight loss by suppressing appetite and activating thermogenesis which generates more heat during metabolism and burns fat.

This study has found out the caffeine prevents having Alzheimer’s.  Keep in mind, all these benefits can only be reaped if coffee is consumed in moderation. Furthermore, if caffeine is applied topically, it depuffs your face and brightens up your complexion.

These are the main compounds that make coffee an excellent source of anti-oxidants. Moreover, coffee is jampacked with other nutrients as well like riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, sodium and helps your body to be in its optimum health.

Which Coffee Has The Most Antioxidants?

scattered raw green coffee beans

Coffee made from green coffee beans has the highest number of antioxidants. But after roasting, the antioxidants decrease to a great number. But it’s necessary to kill harmful chemicals like acrylamide. So, the best coffee with the highest number of antioxidants is light to medium roast coffee beans.   

Coffee is a very complex beverage but has the most amount of health benefits when compared to other drinks.

Though if you add tons of sugar, dairy, and flavors regularly, it can lead to many unwanted diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. So then how to take full advantage of its antioxidants?

You see, you can intake coffee that is richer in these components than others. Green coffee beans are mostly filled with antioxidants. But roasting severely impacts the concentration.

Roasting is necessary to give it the taste that we know and also diminish acrylamide. This compound can cause nerve damages, muscle weakness, and nervous system disorders.

Therefore, consuming coffee made from green coffee beans just because of antioxidants is not the right choice you can make. Also, the quinine present in the raw beans makes the taste unbearably bitter.

Moving forward, all coffees do not contain the same level of antioxidants after getting roasted. The best way to grasp on this healthy antioxidant ride is by getting light to medium roasts also known as blonde roast coffee beans.

The roasting process switch on some more antioxidants by disintegrating present compounds. In other words, the sweet spot of roasting is not too light and not too dark, this enables the coffee bean to withhold more antioxidants. Beans like Robusta and Arabica are widely notorious for this and are mostly blonde roasts.

Antioxidants In Coffee Versus Tea

Both are replete with antioxidants whether it is black coffee or matcha tea. But when compared, coffee has a greater number of antioxidants as it has a larger supply of caffeine which itself is a substantial antioxidant.

The world has two kinds of people. Those who enjoy coffee, whether black or flat white, and another one who enjoys tea whether green or oolong. They have different preferences in each kind. But here comes the big question. Which drink has the most antioxidants? The answer is coffee has the greatest number of antioxidants when compared to tea.

Though tea can be consumed freely, there is a limit set for coffee consumption regularly. The reason why coffee wins is also the reason why limits are set. That is because of caffeine.

Caffeine itself is the most dominant antioxidant present in coffee. But overdosing on caffeine can lead to serious issues like bad cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases.

In moderation, it helps to be more energized throughout the day and keep your mind alert. Tea also has many benefits. It helps with weight loss, relieves stress, and protects your bones. But has less caffeine and other antioxidants.

a white cup of warm tea

Below is a chart comparing tea, coffee, cocoa, and the number of antioxidants each contains in grams.

BeveragesQuantityAntioxidants
Coffee7 grams300 grams
Green Tea2 grams 200 grams
Black Tea2 grams 150 grams
Cocoa7 grams200 grams

Benefits of Antioxidants in Coffee

The antioxidants in coffee can fight against free radicals and prevent you from several diseases like Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer, colon cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and gallstones. The antioxidants in coffee also play a role in boosting your mood and keeping you energized.

Free radicals can be harmful to our body’s health and are one of the reasons why we fall victim to certain diseases. They are a natural response of our body to environmental slights like air pollution and secondhand smoke.

But when our body releases free radicals, they thieve against other cells due to their lack of electrons which can then lead to health damage. This is why it is often advised to consume foods rich in antioxidants because antioxidants set themselves against free radicals and offer their own electrons to protect necessary cells.

Coffee has been proven to offer a few health benefits because it is a drink rich in antioxidants.

Here are other foods rich in antioxidants:

  • Dark Chocolate
  • Kale
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Blackberries
  • Artichokes
  • Red Cabbage

My Thoughts

Though coffee is overflowing with antioxidants, that should not be an excuse to devour coffee more than the set limits. It can do more damage than good.

These antioxidants and vital nutrients play an important role in keep one’s body functioning properly and not developing any lifelong diseases.

You can enjoy these health benefits by simply drinking coffee every day but in small quantities and not over drinking it.

Also, coffee should not be your only source of antioxidants. You should incorporate a large variety of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet.

This way you can have an array of options for your regular antioxidant dose and will also maintain a balanced diet. This is also an excuse to bite into some dark chocolate once in a while. A win-win situation!

Other Articles

Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

Recent Posts