Coffee might be the leading source of antioxidants in the US, said a study on Sunday.
The study has found that coffee contributes more antioxidants - which have been linked with fighting heart disease and cancer - to the diet than cranberries, apples or tomatoes.
"When you look at the quantity of antioxidants in coffee and how much is consumed, it really shines either way," said Joe Vinson, a chemist at the University of Scranton, US.
He presented the results of his analysis Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, in Washington, D.C.
For his study, which was partially funded by the American Cocoa Research Institute, Vinson and his colleagues analyzed the antioxidant content of more than 100 different food items, including vegetables, fruits, nuts, spices, oils and common beverages, Xinhua reports.
The analysis included tracking antioxidants that are hidden in sugar molecules, which increased the number of antioxidants measured, Vinson said.
Fruit and vegetables have long been known to be a good source of antioxidants, but the new findings are surprising because it is the first time that coffee has been shown to be such a rich source of the agents.
"Unfortunately," Vinson said, "Consumers are still not eating enough fruits and vegetables, which are better for you from an overall nutritional point of view due to their higher content of vitamins, minerals and fiber."
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