We hear a lot about antioxidants these days – and indeed, we know they are important for our brain and body health. Antioxidants have been linked to many potential benefits including protection against dementia and cancer.

While things like blueberries, pomegranates, green tea, and red wine are most often touted for their antioxidant content, a comprehensive study has found that Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than from any other dietary source.

There is an important nuance to this study, which is that the researchers looked both at overall antioxidant content of over 100 foods, beverages, and spices AND how much of each thing we typically consume. So while other foods may have higher concentrations of antioxidants than coffee, we simply don’t consume a large enough quantity of them. In fact, if you’re looking for the most antioxidant content per volume, you might be surprised to learn that the study found that dates are the winner.

Check out this graph from the study that shows where Americans get most of their antioxidants, and you can see that coffee is far above any other source:


Don’t like coffee? You can try tea instead. The study found that black tea is the second-best source of antioxidants for Americans. And if you’re wondering whether your cup of decaf is just as good for you, don’t worry: the antioxidant levels are similar whether the coffee is caffeinated or not.

One caveat: the antioxidants in coffee are only a few types of the many thousands of types out there. So it is still recommended that you seek a variety of dietary sources of antioxidants to consume different types.

Want even more reasons to love your morning cup of joe? We recently wrote about some other surprising brain benefits of drinking coffee!