Antioxidant Rich Foods
A diet rich in antioxidants, the chemicals that eliminate free radicals in your body, is essential to good health.
Free radicals are molecules that contain an odd number of electrons. When produced in the body, they can damage cells, proteins, and DNA.
They may also contribute to several diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
Antioxidants bind with free radicals and stabilize them. This in turn prevents cell damage hence they do not cause damage.
In this article, we will cover ten foods that are rich in antioxidants along with the types of antioxidants they contain so you may want to keep it here for that.
1. Red Beans
Kidney beans offer an antioxidant activity that is superior to most other beans, and they’re readily available in cans or dried.
When cooked from dried beans, they rank even higher on the list of antioxidant foods. Kidney beans are rich in antioxidants called flavonoids and anthocyanins, known for their anti-aging properties.
Pecans are a good source of vitamin E and contain more than 19 different vitamins and minerals.
You may be interested to know that this antioxidant has been shown to help reduce oxidative stress in the body and potentially protect against conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
The nuts are also high in fiber, helping prevent constipation and maintaining a healthy digestive tract.
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, which may help fight cell damage and inhibit the effects of aging and chronic disease.
These berries have one of the highest antioxidant volumes among all fruits and vegetables.
This high antioxidant level is what is thought to be responsible for the numerous health benefits that blueberries come with.
Since oxidative stress is thought to contribute to aging and a wide range of health problems, antioxidants may play a role in preventing these conditions.
Did you know that artichokes are a great source of antioxidants?
According to the US Department of Agriculture, artichoke leaves contain a plant compound called cynarin, which may help stimulate the liver to produce bile.
Bile aids in digestion and helps break down cholesterol in the body, making it easier for your liver to process.
The leaves of the artichoke have also been used medicinally to treat a wide range of ailments, including colic, jaundice, cirrhosis, and even high cholesterol.
The antioxidant levels in artichoke are so high that they rank among some of the healthiest foods on the planet.
The antioxidant content of berries is generally correlated with their color. The darker the berry, the higher it ranks in terms of antioxidants.
Blackberries are among the highest-ranking fruits on the ORAC scale, which measures antioxidant capacity.
They rank higher than other superfruits such as pomegranates, blueberries, and acai berries.
Antioxidants have gained a lot of attention in recent years because they may help reduce inflammation and protect against disease.
Chronic inflammation has been linked to obesity and several chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
One test-tube study found that blackberry extracts had intense antioxidant activity and inhibited the growth of several cancer cells.
Prunes are quite a remarkable superfood. They contain high antioxidants, which help prevent cellular damage and protect against chronic disease.
Moreover, they’re a great source of dietary fiber and potassium, which helps lower blood pressure and improve heart health.
However, prunes are also very sweet, making them a little hard to stomach on their own. That’s why it makes sense to try blending them into smoothies instead.
You can use fresh or dried prunes in this recipe, but keep in mind that fresh prunes are only available from mid-May to early July; dried prunes are available year-round.
Dried prunes work just as well for most recipes but will need to be soaked for about an hour before using them in smoothies.
7. Red Cabbage
Red cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable related to other veggies like broccoli, kale, and cauliflower. These veggies get their name from the “cross” shape that forms when looking at their flower buds under a microscope.
Red cabbage gets its color from an anthocyanin pigment, which also gives blueberries and red wine their hues.
Anthocyanins are potent antioxidants, meaning they help protect your body from damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals.
Red cabbage is rich in other healthy compounds, including vitamin C and fiber.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage, contain antioxidants called glucosinolates; studies suggest these compounds may play a role in cancer prevention.
8. Dark Chocolate
Chocolate is rich in antioxidants and, contrary to popular belief, can actually be good for your health.
Most of these benefits are associated with the flavonoids in cocoa powder. Dark chocolate is nutrient-packed and can therefore positively affect your health.
Derived from the cocoa tree’s seed; it is one of the best sources of antioxidants you will ever come across.
Studies reveal that dark chocolate (not the sugary crap) lowers your chances of developing heart disease and ultimately improves your health.
Kale is classified as a cruciferous vegetable and provides unique antioxidant benefits. Like other leafy greens, kale contains high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids help to support healthy vision.
Kale contains powerful antioxidants known as glucosinolates, which help the body break down carcinogens before damaging cells.
Moreover, this vegetable is rich in Vitamins C and K and B-6, and folic acid.
Raspberries are rich in antioxidants and this, in turn, helps prevent oxidative stress that can lead to the development of cancerous cells and other diseases.
Raspberries are also a great source of dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin C, and copper. They also contain a decent amount of folate, magnesium, biotin, and vitamin K.
Studies show that raspberries may help prevent obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
They may also help protect against age-related decline in brain function, reduce inflammation, promote eye health, and fight cancer.
The power of antioxidants is not to be underestimated.
These little guys can help fight off free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause damage to our DNA and may contribute to aging and diseases like cancer.
Our bodies produce some antioxidants, but the ones we get from food are just as important.
Eating a diet rich in antioxidants is the best way to ensure you’re getting an adequate supply.
Incorporate the foods we have discussed above and enjoy better health.