It is more important than ever to include antioxidant rich foods into your diet. With countless sources of oxidative stresses such as alcohol, tobacco smoke, ultraviolet radiation and fried foods, we are all exposed. The rise in chronic diseases has been fueled by our modern lifestyles. However, the good news is that antioxidant rich foods can help to protect your body from the constant assault of free radicals.
What are antioxidants, you might ask? Antioxidants are molecules that counteract the damaging effects of oxidative stresses, preserve our cells’ integrity, and protect our DNA. Antioxidant rich foods can even slow down the aging process. Because our bodies cannot synthesize most of these vital compounds, it is necessary to ingest them with food.
Are you unsure where to look? You don’t have to be worried. We will be discussing 10 amazing antioxidant-rich foods in this article to help you fight free radicals, improve your long-term health, and more. Our 7-day plan for incorporating antioxidant rich foods into your diet might be of interest to you.
Berries are a nutritional powerhouse. Blueberries, cranberries, blackcurrants, and strawberries are some of the most nutritious dietary sources for vitamins and fiber. Numerous studies, including one published in The International Journal of Molecular Sciences, have demonstrated that regular consumption of berries can dramatically reduce inflammation and greatly lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer.
These fruits are rich in antioxidants, such as flavonoids, phenolic acids and vitamin C, which have strong health-promoting effects.
While all fruits in this family are good for our health, there will be some that have stronger antioxidant properties than others. According to a Foods journal review, blueberries and blackcurrants have the highest levels of these vital compounds.
Pomegranates, small red fruits that are packed with juicy and crunchy seeds, are a great choice. The International Journal of Chemical Studies published a review that showed how these fruits could be used to treat a variety of infections and reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, type II diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Although pomegranates are not as well-known as berries in the United States, they contain similar levels of health-promoting nutrients. According to a Journal of Food Bioactives review, they are rich in many antioxidants including anthocyanins and gallic acid.
Plums, sweet and juicy, are another great example of an antioxidant-rich food. According to an analysis published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a medium-sized fruit has nearly 6.5mg of vitamin A (roughly 10% of your Daily Value).
Numerous studies published in Phytotherapy Research showed that regular plum consumption can improve cognitive function, bone density, and cardiovascular health.
Dark chocolate is a great option for increasing your antioxidant intake. Although dark chocolate may have a bitter taste, it is one of the most healthful items in the confectionary aisle. The main ingredient, cocoa, is rich in flavonoids such as epicatechin, procyanidins, and catechin. These compounds have been shown to reduce inflammation, improve cardiovascular health, and enhance immune responses.
A review published in Cellular Longevity and Oxidative Medicine suggests that cocoa intake may have a positive effect on insulin resistance, cognitive function, and mood. Notably, the antioxidant potential of chocolate is lessened the further processed it is. You will get the best results if you choose minimally processed chocolate that has high cocoa levels.
Beetroots are a great source of antioxidants and should be included in your diet. Beetroots have many health benefits. These root vegetables contain a high amount of nitrates, which compounds have a direct effect on our cardiovascular system.
Beetroot juice is also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytophenols. These vegetables are rich in betalains, which is a group of polyphenols that gives them their distinctive purple color.
A review published in Nutrients journal found that regular beetroot or beetroot juice intake can reduce inflammation, improve cognition, and lower the risk of developing various types of cancer. Sports Medicine published a review that suggests beetroot juice might have an impact on athletes’ performance.
GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES
A healthy diet should include green leafy vegetables. Not only are they low in calories, dietary fats, and high in fiber, but also contain significant amounts of vitamins, minerals, and cabbage, watercress, lettuce, and other green leafy vegetables.
Spinach is an excellent example of a leafy green vegetable that has high levels of antioxidants. A study published in Food and Function found that spinach consumption may reduce the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis.
This green leafy vegetable may also be beneficial for our brain and eye health. It is rich in two carotenoid antioxidants, lutein (and zeaxanthin). According to a review published by Nutrition Reviews journal, lutein as well as zeaxanthin are capable of absorbing harmful blue light entering the eye, protecting it from damage and protecting it from degeneration.
Artichoke, a vegetable with a similar flavor to asparagus, is most often found in the Mediterranean diet. They are rich in inulin, which is a prebiotic fiber.
Recent research published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences has shown that artichokes possess strong anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and other properties. These distinctively bulky vegetables are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C, hydroxycinnamic acid, polyphenols, flavonoids, and other nutrients.
LEGUMES: LENTILS, BEANS, AND PEAS
It’s unlikely that you would think of legumes, such as beans, lentils, and peas, when thinking about antioxidant-rich foods. These staples contain a lot of polyphenols that have strong free radical scavenging capabilities.
An analysis published in Journal of Food Science found that lentils have the highest levels of antioxidants. It was determined that yellow peas, green peas, chickpeas, soybeans, common beans, lentils and red kidney beans are the best. They are also high in fiber and one of the best sources of vegan protein.
Nuts are high in calories, dietary fats and have many health benefits. Nutrients published a review that found regular nut intake can dramatically reduce the chance of developing certain chronic conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. These food staples are rich in phytosterols (plant steroids), carotenoids and ellagic acid with strong antioxidant properties.
According to a study published in Food Science and Technology journal walnuts and pecans have the greatest ability to neutralize free radicals.
Oatmeal makes a great breakfast choice. It’s nutritious, filling, and easy to mix with toppings. Oatmeal is also rich in protein, dietary fibre, calcium, and vitamins B, C and E.
A review published by Antioxidants
Journal, Oats have high levels of important antioxidants such as beta-carotene and polyphenols. They also contain chlorophyll, flavonoids, and chlorophyll. As described in Foods journal, they have been proven to be effective at activating cell repair mechanisms, protecting against cell damage and scavenging free radicals.