Thursday, November 16, 2006

Coffee, on the other hand, is now good

Nutrition experts like Willett point out that, like tea, coffee is rich in antioxidants--substances in vegetables and fruits that deactivate disease-causing byproducts of the body's metabolism. "Coffee is by far the largest source of antioxidants in our diet," says Joe Vinson, a chemistry professor at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. That's not just because we drink so much. In tests conducted at Vinson's lab, coffee topped the list of foods that are densest in antioxidants, surpassing blueberries, broccoli, and most other produce. Only chocolate, dried fruits, and dried beans ranked higher.

Wired brains. Much-maligned caffeine appears to be a protective substance, too. Beyond waking up sluggish minds, caffeine may serve as a mild antidepressant--or so researchers theorize. One Harvard study of 80,000 American women found that those who drank more than two or three cups of regular coffee daily cut their risk of suicide over 10 years by one third. And the stimulant has been shown in animal experiments to inhibit the brain-cell destruction that occurs in Parkinson's disease. A 30-year study in Hawaii of 8,000 Japanese-American men found that coffee consumers were about 48 percent to 84 percent less likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson's. Another study on the mainland yielded similar findings and traced the protective effect to caffeine in coffee, tea, and colas.

Just another reason to go to "Slave to the Grind" in Bronxville and fill up on the hazlenut.

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