Next time the barista poses the question of light or dark roast, coffee-drinkers might be doing themselves a nutritional favor by going for the latter as it has been shown to contain more antioxidants.
Research conducted at the University of British Columbia has shown that the high temperatures at which beans are roasted to produce dark roast coffee are responsible for the beverage's antioxidant levels.
Coffee contains polyphenols which are antioxidants also found in red wine and certain teas. Antioxidants help eliminate harmful free radicals, substances which have been linked to cancer and other diseases.
Previous research from scientists at the University of Scranton has shown that coffee is a top source of the disease-fighting compounds. The study concluded that the beverage has higher levels of antioxidants than any other food or beverage, according to an article on MSNBC.com.
However, it should be noted that excessive levels of caffeine can put stress on the heart and lead to anxiety or hypertension. So, enjoy dark roast in moderation and try to include lots of fruits and vegetables to further boost antioxidant intake.