Did you ever realize that we are often bombarded with foods and drinks claiming to be packed with antioxidants? It seems like antioxidants are something that we really need to protect our body from free radicals. However, do we really need antioxidants?
Antioxidants are nutrients (including vitamins like C and E) that prevent or slow oxidative damage and neutralize free radicals throughout the body. Free radicals are substances that occur naturally in our bodies but attach the fats, proteins, and the DNA in our cells, which can cause different types of diseases and accelerate the aging process.
So, it is obvious that our body needs antioxidants.
Consuming foods rich in antioxidants helps to terminate the oxidation process, thereby keeping the cells healthy. When our cells are healthy, diseases can be prevented and aging process can be delayed.
Here are the top antioxidants-rich foods you should add more to your diet:
Researchers at the University of Oslo wanted to know which foods have the highest concentration of antioxidants, and they found that one cup of blackberries contains the most antioxidants of all 5 types of berries tested.
All kinds of beans—black, red, pinto, and kidney beans have high-octane sources of antioxidants. Beans are also rich in muscle-boosting protein, have no cholesterol and little fat.
Tomatoes are packed with three types of antioxidants: Lycopene that gives the tomato its red color; Vitamin C, and Vitamin A. Vitamin C and Lycopene help to boost your cell regeneration—that is why these two antioxidants are often found in face cream ingredients.
Grapes, especially the dark-colored ones, are loaded with phytochemicals, antioxidants that may help protect against cancer and heart disease. Two of those phytochemicals, anthocyanin and proanthocyanin, may be especially good for your immune system. Grapes are also the powerhouses of Vitamin C and selenium.
Organic Green Tea
With one sip of tea, you get two antioxidants: anthocyanin and proanthocyanin—antioxidants that help fight inflammation. Green tea, in particular, has catechin epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is a potent antioxidant.
Brocolli is full of cancer-fighting antioxidants. One study found men who ate 5 servings or more perweek of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli were half as likely to develop bladder cancers over a 10-year period as men who rarely ate them.
Strawberries are rich in vitamin C (149 percent of your daily recommended intake!). A cup of sliced strawberries a day helps to protect your cells from free radicals.
Most nuts are healthy and experts recommend that you must have at least 30 grams of nuts daily. Walnuts, in particular, are rich in antioxidants (polyphenols), low in sodium, and cholesterol-free.
Kale is not only rich in fiber, low in calorie and has zero fat. “The queen of greens” is also filled with powerful antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids. These antioxidants have been associated with reduced risk of a variety of diseases.
Calling all chocolate lovers! Chocolate is actually healthy, so no need to feel guilty indulging in your chocolate every now and then. Dark chocolates and cocoa are rich in flavonoid and polyphenols, which are good for your heart. However, keep in mind that always consume chocolate in moderation as it’s still high in calories.