Our bodies at all times have both antioxidants and free radicals running around inside. When we are exposed to the environment, those free radicals come charging at us. Free radicals are also created by our bodies when going through regular functions like your white blood cells sending free radicals to destroy bacteria. The best way to combat these free radicals are to get good antioxidants in our body.
While our bodies produce a few of the antioxidants we need, we still have to get the rest from the food we eat. So looking for food that is high in antioxidants and double as an anti-inflammatory for the body is even better.
So What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are any substance that inhibits oxidation, especially one used to counteract the deterioration of stored food products or removes potentially damaging oxidizing agents in a living organism. (from Dr. Draxe)
Antioxidants are compounds or substances like flavanols, resveratrol, lycopene or beta-carotene which naturally occur in fruits and vegetables.
How Do Antioxidants Keep Our Body Healthy?
Eating antioxidant Foods benefits the body by helping us live longer and look younger. Antioxidants help your body neutralize by remove oxidants in the bloodstream. They contribute to slow the effects of aging by reducing free radical damage and protect your vision and eyes. Look for foods that have high ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) units. They help to prevent stroke and other heart diseases and decrease the risk of cancer. Antioxidant foods help with even more severe illness like cognitive declines such as dementia and Alzheimer's. Antioxidant-rich foods contain food-based substances like beta-carotene, lycopene, and vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, flavonoids, and lycopene. Living a longer, healthier lifestyle means including antioxidant foods in your diet.
Eating more antioxidant food is not as hard as you may think because some are most likely already in your diet. If you do make a change, it will be an easy adjustment to the food you already eat.
So What are some High Antioxidants Rich Foods?
Dark Chocolate not only makes a tasty treat but it's good for you. Make sure you are looking for raw, unprocessed cocoa beans or powder to receive the highest amount of antioxidants. Look for 70% cocoa as suggested by Harvard experts to boost your heart health. Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active witch functions as antioxidants. It's full of polyphenols, flavanols, catechins, along with other antioxidants. Remember to eat your chocolate in moderation to keep it as a benefit to your health.
Kidney beans are a simple but excellent source of antioxidant for the body. Kidney beans have a high capacity of antioxidants that in turn gives it a high ability to absorb free radicals in the body. With strong defense to protect the body from kidney beans, it can help to prevent some diseases. Kidney beans contain an even higher antioxidant value than blueberries to help you keep a healthy body. Beans are rich in muscle boosting protein with no cholesterol and just a little fat. Want to make your beans are a complete protein? Add some of your favorite grains to your meal. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will make the beans more comfortable on your stomach to digest.
Raisins Another treat is raisins and they a loaded with antioxidants. You can add them to your yogurt cup, your trail mix, and any other one of your favorite food. Just a handful of dark raisins comes packed with anthocyanins to give you the energy to work and play for the day.
Wild blueberries are full of antioxidants like anthocyanins, flavonoids. The Blue pigment in the wild blueberries can neutralize free radicals and help to prevent cell damage. The antioxidants protect your body from inflammation, degenerative diseases and Alzheimer's.
Elderberries are pack with antioxidants with anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antiviral properties. The flavonoids in elderberries make it antioxidants rich to prevent cell damage. An excellent source of fiber along with a 17% of daily value of vitamin A and about 87% of daily value of vitamin C. It is also full of vitamin B6, potassium, and beta-carotene.
Making cranberry sauce is one of our holiday favorites, but it is one of your superfood antioxidants. Cranberries are full of fiber, packed with vitamin C and yes, full of antioxidants that fight diseases. Cranberries outperform most fruits and vegetables when it comes to antioxidants level aside from wild blueberries.
The oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) of Goji Berrie's scores at 25,000 of antioxidant power. Goji Berries promote overall health by boosting your immune system and protecting your eyes, plus an excellent source of vitamin C. Goji Berries are loaded with beta-carotene that helps to support healthy glowing skin. Goji berries are as healthy as they come, they are low in calories, fat-free and packed with fiber to help keep your gut healthy.
Blackberries are a super antioxidant fruit that reduces and in some cases prevent the risk of cervical cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, breast cancer and pancreatic cancer. Blackberries are full of antioxidants like anthocyanins that help to prevent inflammation, increase the collagen production in the skin, even promote better blood circulation and so much more. Blackberries contain folate; it contributes to preventing cancers, it also helps to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. Blackberries contain Omega 3 fatty acids that are essential to your health along with the risk of heart diseases. If you are looking to improve your brain function, Omega 3 fatty acids are great to boost productivity. Blackberries contain about 36% of your daily dose of vitamin K and about 50% of your daily value of vitamin C in a serving. Look for ripe blackberries to receive the full benefits because once they are picked, they do not ripen.
Barley Eating a grain of barley is not just a trending healthy food habit but a healthy part of your meal. Barley contains potent antioxidant properties that feed your body from inside. Eating grains not only keeps you fit, but it also helps you build a stronger body while making you look good. If you want to get the most out of your grains soak them to be sprouted to increase the level of antioxidants your body receive once consume. Sprouting your grains makes it more comfortable on your stomach to digest in turn your body absorb more nutrients.
Walnuts Walnuts are those little nuts that not only looks like a brain but provide the antioxidant power you need. Walnuts have a higher antioxidants potency than any other nuts you could consume. Experts recommend eating a handful of nuts a day, about seven pieces of walnuts is all it takes. Walnuts are loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols, with low sodium that is free of cholesterol. The antioxidants in walnuts are about fifteen times more potent than the ones found in vitamin E. Eating walnuts on a regular basis helps decrease the risk of cancer, heart diseases, gallstones and even type 2 diabetes.
If you are looking for a healthy unsaturated fat to help lower your blood cholesterol along with preserving a high-density lipoprotein (HDL) pecans are the way to go. Pecan nuts have a 60% monosaturated fat, and the other 30% is polyunsaturated. Don't worry about any trans fat because pecans nuts are healthy and have none. Pecans have more than 19 vital vitamins and minerals that our bodies need like vitamin E, vitamin A, magnesium, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, several B vitamins, and zinc. Pecan nuts are naturally sodium free, and one-ounce serving provides 10% of your recommended daily intake of fiber. Pecan as naturally occurring antioxidants that help to contribute to your heart health and prevent future disease. If you are looking to increase the antioxidants in your body and lower you're (LDL) eat at least one serving of pecans a day.
Artichoke is an excellent source suitable fiber for our body. Artichoke contains polyphenols, which is a disease-fighting compound along with anti-inflammatory properties. Artichoke is one of the top vegetables to add to your plate to boost your antioxidant level. Great vitamins like vitamin K and A, potassium, magnesium, and folate are in your artichoke. Artichoke help to relieve gastrointestinal issues and lower cholesterol. Make sure to eat the leaf and the heart to receive the full nutritional value.
Broccoli The little broccoli tree you love so much shows you plenty of love back. Broccoli is one of the vegetables that has the best source of antioxidants like beta-carotene, carotenoids lutein, and zeaxanthin to fight free radicals. Cooking a little broccoli to add on top of your food release some much-needed beta-carotene in your body to keep you healthy. The best way to cook up some broccoli is to just steam them up for a few minutes.
Tomatoes are delicious little red fruits that contain antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Lycopene all to fight damages. Vitamin C is one of the best antioxidants you can find in foods; it is potent when it comes to fighting free radicals. Vitamin C helps the synthesis of collagen to help your muscles and blood vessels stay strong. To help your body absorb the lycopene to its full health benefits cook your tomatoes to make a sauce or just add them cook to your meals. Cilantro
Cilantro is a green that is full of antioxidants you can add to your salad, sandwich, or a green smoothy to boost your nutrition. It comes with antibacterial compound, dodecanal that fights food born illness like salmonella naturally. Cilantro is naturally anti-inflammatory to help with health issues such as alleviating symptoms of arthritis. The antioxidants found in cilantro helps to protect you from the UVC Rays, UVA RAYS and UVB Rays of the sunlight to prevent premature aging and other skin related problems. Adding cilantro on a regular basis to your meal can help protect your body from viruses, germs, and colds as well as lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL).
Antioxidants are good for the body and eating a plate full of them makes all the difference in your lifestyle.
Now you do have more option and do not have to stick to just these few foods. The list is just a start to start eating some healthy antioxidant-rich foods. A healthy eating habit is one of the best ones you can pick up to start living a healthy lifestyle. Start by just adding one of these to your diet a day to see the difference.
What is your favorite antioxidant-rich food?