Chlorogenic Acid (CGA): Coffee's Secret “Super Antioxidant”

Your morning coffee is an abundant source of antioxidants, but one particular antioxidant known as chlorogenic acid (CGA), is the key to many of coffee's health benefits! This powerful compound helps fight the damage caused by free radicals, which can reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, and even give your skin a youthful boost. The best part? You don’t have to do much to find it. Just buy the right coffee and drink it. Yes, really! 

In this article, you will learn:

Chlorogenic Acids (CGAs): What Are They?

CGAs are the main antioxidant linked to coffee’s powerful health benefits. Technically speaking, Chlorogenic Acid is the ester of caffeic acid and quinic acid. In its plural form, Chlorogenic Acids, refers to a related family of esters including hydroxycinnamic acids and quinic acid. CGAs are responsible for making your coffee taste more or less acidic, and as an antioxidant, CGAs fall into the broader category of polyphenol.

Antioxidants are critical to health because they inhibit the oxidation caused by free radicals in our bodies. Although we need oxygen to live, as part of free radical compounds, oxygen can actually damage our cells and the genetic material inside them, which can ultimately lead to cancer, high blood pressure, and systemic inflammation. That’s why we want more antioxidants like CGAs in our diet – to combat this process!

CGAs are found in a variety of fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, carrots, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes, but it's most abundant in beverages like tea and coffee!

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Green Coffee & Chlorogenic Acids (CGAs)

Believe it or not, before your coffee beans were roasted, they once were raw seeds, more like a green colored cranberry than the brown nut-like bean you are familiar with. That raw bean is green coffee.

Green coffee has a higher amount of CGAs than roasted coffee beans because the roasting process breaks down the chlorogenic acid.

So why not just drink green coffee? The roasting process is what gives coffee its amazing aroma and flavor you know and love, and because of that, green coffee has a very different taste. In fact, it's so different that green coffee is usually sold as an extract or in capsule form, instead of by the mug full. If you're curious to try green coffee yourself, here are the directions to make it!

If you're not a green coffee convert, don't sweat it. Roasted coffee still packs a big CGA punch, one that is actually bigger than other popular antioxidant-rich foods like kale.

Chlorogenic Acid (CGA) Benefits

Chlorogenic acids, particularly in coffee, pack a list of impressive health and wellness benefits:

  • Disease Prevention: By combatting free radicals the oxidation process, CGAs can help prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
  • Anti-Inflammatory: CGAs can help lower inflammation and over the long-term, prevent chronic disease.
  • Weight Loss: CGAs can regulate glucose levels, which can be helpful to weight loss and maintenance while reducing your risk of diabetes.
  • Lower Blood Pressure: A 2006 study showed that CGAs lower blood pressure significantly during the ingestion period.

Chlorogenic Acid (CGA) Uses: How to Maximize Your Intake

The amount of CGAs in most plants is trivial. Foods like apples, pears, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and eggplant have more CGAs than most plants. But coffee, tea, blueberries, and sunflower seeds, contain enough CGAs to have a discernable physiological impact.

Because the roasting process plays such a paramount roll in coffee's CGA levels, it's important to choose high-quality coffee beans that have been specifically roasted to ensure CGA's preservation. A good starting place is to look for lighter roasts and organically-sourced beans.

With our Clean Coffee, however, you can drink up your daily dose of CGAs with confidence. Other brands average about 1.3g of CGAs per 100g of beans, but we carefully test and adapt our roasting process to ensure that each batch contains almost double that at 2.1g of CGAs per 100g of beans. And the best part? You don't have to sacrifice taste for these amazing health benefits! In fact, we'll wager that our Clean Coffee will be the tastiest brew you've ever had!


UP NEXT: Are There Antioxidants in Coffee? Yes! And We Have the Test Results! 

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