We love learning about foods that can help heal and protect from the inside out, so we were thrilled to learn that one of our must-have daily beverages is packed with many healthy attributes.
Coffees and teas are full of hard-working antioxidants, powerful molecules fight off free-radicals (pollutants, chemicals, sunlight, alcohol, etc.) from damaging our internal cellular structures. A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that one cup of coffee may actually have more antioxidants than a full serving of fruit!
- Caffeine causes UV damaged skin cells to leave the body without disrupting the survival of healthy cells (Journal of Investigative Dermatology)
- Caffeine dehydrates fat cells (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology)
- Caffeine is an anti-inflammatory, draining excess lymph fluid and blood from puffy areas, like under the eyes.
- Caffeine may protect that skin against UV damage when applied as a cream or lotion (Researchers at Rutgers University are currently studying this theory)
So what about reaching for a Diet Coke instead? Don’t do it. Not all caffeine sources are created equal.
What’s great about coffee and tea is that they are free from carbonation, colorings, additives, etc. That being said, be careful what you mix into your brews.
If you can drink your coffee or tea sans dairy or sweeteners, the healthier they are for you. If you simply can’t stand the taste without a little something extra, go ahead and add small amounts of milk and sugar, but don’t go overboard. Let your taste buds adjust to the decreased amount of sugar… Trust us, over a few days, you’ll get used to the taste. In fact, when you sweeten, it’s best to go with something all-natural like rock cane sugar, honey, Stevia, or agave nectar (our favorite). These allow the natural, full-bodied flavors of the coffee and tea to really take center stage.
Remember, moderation is key. One to two cups of coffee or tea each day is plenty enough to enjoy the many benefits of these beverages.