Coffee is America’s Leading Antioxidant

A new study shows that Americans get more antioxidants from coffee than any other source. Unfortunately, this is an indication of poor dietary habits, not the wonders of coffee.

Coffee is leading source of antioxidants in U.S. (Chicago Tribune)

Coffee provides more healthful antioxidants than any other food or beverage in the American diet, according to a study released Sunday. The findings are by Joe Vinson, a chemistry professor at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. His findings were released in conjunction with the annual convention of the American Chemical Society in Washington. Antioxidants are thought to help battle cancer and provide other health benefits.

Vinson said his team analyzed the antioxidant content of more than 100 different food items. They found that the average adult consumes 1,299 milligrams of antioxidants daily from coffee. The closest competitor was tea at 294 milligrams.

That does not mean coffee is a substitute for antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables. “Unfortunately, consumers are still not eating enough fruits and vegetables,” Vinson said.

Of course, coffee is more enjoyable than broccoli.

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Fitch says:

    YAY For coffee! I think I’ll go get me some more.

  2. Mike Schulze says:

    Dear Doctor Jay,

    We have a new antioxidant drink that is a combination of unprocessed Cocoa powder and the Acai Berry (from South American rain forest) and also contains: cayenne pepper, cinnamon, grape and blue berry pulp plus the natural sweetener, Agave.

    Antioxidant values are the capacity to absorb free radicals. The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value as determined by the US Department of Agriculture measure the capacity of foods to absorb oxygen free radicals. The government recommends 6,000 ORAC units per day. On average, an American would get 16-20% of that requirement from her or his diet. The deficit explains why we rank lower on the morbidity tables and are in poorer health later in life than many other countries, even with our enormous expenditures on health care.

    One ounce of our drink, taken before meals, three times per day as a dietary supplement yields 8,640 ORAC units per day.

    There are numerous benefits related to meeting/exceeding the daily minimum antioxidant recommendations of the USDA.

    Thanks for listening.