A study done by researchers at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania concluded that the top source of antioxidants in the average American diet comes from coffee. In fact, there was really no runner up as nothing else even comes close. Black tea came in second place but it was beaten by coffee by almost 450%
Are you surprised? Wine and beer also made the top 10! What does this tell us about the state of the American diet? Perhaps it might explain why we are in such terrible shape.
Research has shown that antioxidants are beneficial to our health. There are studies that indicate coffee consumption may have health benefits including a reduction in some types of cancer. However, not all sources of antioxidants are created equal and we cannot live on antioxidants alone. Coffee, tea, wine and beer can be a part of healthy diet but should not be the main source of our antioxidants. These items are actually poor sources of nutrition.
Natural foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs and other quality proteins not only contain an abundant variety of antioxidants, they also contain all the other essential ingredients we need for optimal health. These are the foods we should be focusing on and consuming in greater quantities. Fruits like dates, prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, plums, oranges, red grapes and cherries are excellent. Vegetables like kale, spinach, brussel sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli flowers, beets, red bell peppers, onions, fresh corn, artichokes and eggplant are at the top the list. Research has consistently shown that beans, particularly small red beans, have many health benefits. As far as nuts go, pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts are the winners in that category. Honey, eggs, meat, fish and shellfish also contain beneficial antioxidants and other compounds which are best preserved by not over-cooking. Ground cloves, cinnamon, and oregano were the top three antioxidant-rich spices.
It’s best to build your diet totally around these natural and nutrient rich foods. These are the very foods that have allowed the human race to survive and thrive when other species have not fared as well. Always strive to include as many of these fresh natural foods in your daily diet as possible.