The Hemp Connection + women's health

If you thought you knew every antioxidant there the coffee cherry!

I was in Los Angeles over the weekend with a few free hours, so I did what I always do when that happens. I headed over to the Whole Foods Venice to see what was cookin'. That place is always packed with new foods and ideas!

I had the opportunity to try my first raw meal, a verde burrito from the restaurant 118 Degrees.* Very tasty!

And I learned about a new antioxidant from Hawaii, as well as other coffee producing regions…the coffee cherry. (Well, coffee cherries have been around for eons, actually, it's only recently that they have been processed in ways that humans can eat.)

A coffee cherry is the fruit inside of which coffee beans grow. So for a long time, the cherries were picked, the beans were extracted, and the cherries were discarded. When antioxidants became popular, it was discovered that these coffee cherries are pretty packed with antioxidants. The National Insitute of Health has actually ranked the coffee cherry higher in antioxidant content than pomegranate and green tea.

To date, coffee cherry is more of an ingredient in skin products than in food. There it has been shown to have powerful anti-cancer activity. Once food manufacturers figure out a way to process coffee cherries in a way that they can be transported outside of the tropical regions where they grow, you will likely see them used in more foods.

Unfortunately, the product I tasted it in was a soda pop, not the best all-around food choice when you're going for total nutrient density. I look forward to what else creative food manufacturers devise that would be more all-around healthful for someone who is trying to limit sugar intake as well as boost anti-oxidant consumption.

I've always liked to steer people toward red foods--pomegranates, grapes, berries, cherries, etc.--for antioxidant power. Looks like even when you head toward the equator, this rule of thumb holds true!

*My meal was tasty, and I would highly recommend it, but that comment is not meant to be a wholehearted endorsement of raw eating. I will be writing more about raw food soon.

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If you thought you knew every antioxidant there the coffee cherry! + women's health