The news about coffee’s health benefits has been big over the past few years. Thanks to its high antioxidant profile, coffee has been linked to a lower risk of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, colon cancer, and even cavities. And it turns out that the plant that makes your morning latte or mocha possible can also give your skin a wake-up call.
What It Is
Coffee berries are the cherry-like fruit of the coffee plant that cover the bitter coffee bean. Scientists have discovered that the fruit contains abundant amounts of polyphenols, antioxidants that neutralize free radicals and protect cells against harmful oxidation.
According to one research development group, 400 milligrams of coffee berry is just as effective against free radicals as superantioxidants such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Other research shows that coffee berries have an antioxidant power 10 times higher than that of green tea in the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) assay.
What It Does
Emerging research from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York shows that coffee berry replenishes the antioxidant capacity of the skin when used topically. The researchers speculate that this could help prevent the signs of premature aging, and may also help keep skin cancer at bay. Other studies suggest that coffee berry oil stimulates the synthesis of collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans in human skin cells. These are the proteins that make up the structure of the skin. By fortifying these proteins, coffee berry can help keep skin youthful. Used topically in skin creams, a 1 percent concentration has been found to improve hyperpigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, and overall appearance after just six weeks.
Coffee berry is available in a powdered concentrate—stir it into yogurt or smoothies, or sprinkle over cereals.
Along with boosting antioxidant levels, a preliminary trial found that supplementing with coffee berry for four weeks helped college athletes recover faster after exercising. And University of California, Irvine researchers have found that glyconutrients, such as those found in coffee berries, significantly enhanced the activity of natural killer cells in test subjects with fibromyalgia. The glyconutrients also boosted immune function by encouraging damaged
cells to “commit suicide,” a process known as apoptosis.
Where to Find It
Most of the research into the benefits of coffee berries is in the early stages, but as more are discovered, you will find an increasing number of coffee berry—enhanced skin care products
on store shelves. In the meantime, we’ve listed a few products to get
Product Examples (from left)
Now Foods Mangoni SuperFruit Antioxidant Cocktail combines coffee berries with six other antioxidant-rich, high-ORAC fruits.
Twinlab TeaZen be-u-TEA-licious organic White Tea concentrate Green Coffee Berry & clover blossom can be mixed with hot or cold water for a delicious, mega-healthful cup of tea.
New Chapter Coffee Berry whole coffee fruit concentrate packs the equivalent of five servings of fruit, providing antioxidants, polyphenols, and essential sugars (also known
Nature’s Gate Mineral Sportblock SPF 20 shields skin from harmful rays with natural zinc and coffee, plus milk thistle and mimosa bark extracts revitalize and soothe.
Lucy Minerals Mineral Foundation contains the wonder antioxidant coffee berry, plus vitamin C.