As an alternative, it can help to take a closer look at what we may already have in our routines that contribute to our wellness goals, so we can rest a bit easier while bypassing the often-misguided noise.
With that in mind, there are two beverages you might drink often—perhaps even daily—that contain chlorogenic acid, an impressive polyphenol that’s potent enough to help protect against chronic diseases and conditions. To see what those are and to get the scoop on this anti-inflammatory compound, we reached out to clinical and culinary dietitian Jennifer Maeng, MS, RD, LD, CDN, CNSC.
- Jennifer Maeng, MS, RD, CDN, CNSC, clinical dietitian and founder of Chelsea Nutrition
What is chlorogenic acid?
Maeng kicks things off by saying that chlorogenic acid is a natural, biologically active compound found in certain foods and drinks. (More on that soon.) As an antioxidant, it “fights harmful free radicals when consumed, eliminating and neutralizing many harmful substances from the body,” says Maeng.
Benefits of chlorogenic acid
Studies show that chlorogenic acid has powerful anti-inflammatory effects, which is why it’s beneficial to mitigate and potentially help prevent a range of health conditions. “Inflammation is a leading contributor to certain chronic diseases. Thus, research indicates that the anti-inflammatory properties of chlorogenic acid help prevent cancer, type 2 diabetes, and other inflammatory diseases,” Maeng says.
Moreover, chlorogenic acid’s inflammation-fighting powers can also help relieve discomfort in those who suffer from chronic pain. “Further, chlorogenic acid is neuroprotective, meaning it can improve and preserve cognitive brain function—including attention span and memory,” Maeng continues. She adds that chlorogenic acid can lower blood pressure by promoting blood vessel function, and is safe for people with mild hypertension to consume.
How much you need to reap its protective benefits
“A person should aim to consume approximately 120 to 300 milligrams of chlorogenic acid daily to attain the desired health benefits,” Maeng says. (In the last study shared above, as little as 140 milligrams of chlorogenic acid daily was found to significantly reduce blood pressure.)
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to reach this recommended range for daily intake—especially if you’re already sipping your way to anti-inflammatory perks, whether or not you realize it.
2 drinks rich in anti-inflammatory chlorogenic acid
Drum roll, please: The two beverages that pack a potent dose of chlorogenic acid are none other than coffee and tea. “[These drinks] are typically the main source of chlorogenic acid in a person’s diet,” Maeng says. “In fact, one serving of coffee can contain up to 675 milligrams of chlorogenic acid.”
In other words, your morning beverage of choice is even more beneficial for your mind and body than you might have known. (As a decades-long daily coffee drinker, I for one am elated at this discovery.)
To max out your intake of chlorogenic acid, Maeng offers a few helpful tips:
Try out green coffee
“Green coffee contains three different classes of chlorogenic acid. Regular consumption is proven to produce more significant health benefits in comparison to black coffee,” Maeng explains. It could be worth trying out this variety if you’re seeking the most robust defense possible, but don’t stress over switching things up too much. Remember, your standard brew is still better than no brew at all.
Sip on your favorite (caffeinated) tea
Maeng says that teas with and without caffeine pack substantial amounts of chlorogenic acid, so those who need an energetic pick-me-up—as well as those who prefer to avoid the stimulant—can benefit from their tea of choice. However, there are a few varieties that offer the antioxidant in higher amounts, and those do happen to contain caffeine.
“Black and green teas have been used for centuries as an herbal remedy for a variety of diseases, but it wasn’t until recently that chlorogenic acid was recognized as the source of certain health benefits that stem from the regular consumption of tea,” Maeng shares. (Bonus: These varieties of tea are also rich in catechins, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that also help to stave off chronic disease and promote longevity.)
Black and green teas aside, Maeng adds that yerba mate is especially rich in chlorogenic acid. A 40-gram brew of this native South American beverage, she continues, can get you within the daily recommended range of chlorogenic acid.
Snack on foods that contain chlorogenic acid
Prefer healthy bites with this beneficial compound? Stock up on select plant-based foods. “Incorporating fruits, such as blueberries and apples, into your daily diet is [another] an easy way to boost your chlorogenic acid intake,” Maeng concludes. Additional foods that contain it include sunflower seeds, pears, tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants.
Loading More Posts...