Antioxidants are an army of helpers that place little yellow ‘cleaning in progress’ signs in each and every cell, but only if we consume enough of them in our diets. This army of volunteers make it their business to help prevent diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancers etc, by slowing down or preventing damage caused by oxygen.
Antioxidant food can be found in many plants such as fruits and vegetables, also they can be found in spices, nuts and meats. This is why a balanced and varied diet is so essential and always suggested by health care professionals and nutritionists.
According the the USDA (US Department of Agriculture), antioxidants help prevent damage done to cells by removing free radicals from our bodies. If we eat foods packed with antioxidants on a regular basis, we will be prepping our bodies to deal with the numerous life processes that have potential to damage our bodies and our health.
So what foods should you eat? Stick with fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, and spices. If you make a decision to try and live a healthier lifestyle, including these super foods into your diet shouldn’t be too difficult. If your eating healthy, you’re probably already eating fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. This guide will outline the foods you need to eat to make your body a free radical-fighting machine!
The following are some of the best pick of High Antioxidants foods
1. Pomegranates – This fruit has received a lot of attention in recent years. And, the truth is that it really is due to recognition it gets. Pomegranates’ polyphenols are more effective than most other antioxidants at fighting free radicals. They are highly concentrated in the juice. Experts suggest that everyone could benefit from a glass of pomegranate juice each day.
2. Berries – Blueberries rank higher than any other fruit when it comes to packing in the antioxidants. Wild blueberries are a better antioxidant food than cultivated. Cranberries and blackberries also rank really high, but any berry is a good choice.
3. Pecans– Nuts are often overlooked as potential antioxidant foods, but they are very healthy. Among the nuts, pecans have the most antioxidants.
4. Walnuts – Walnuts rank second among nuts as great antioxidant foods.
5. Hazelnuts – Hazelnuts are also antioxidant rich, but they are not a very popular nut in the US. Consider adding them to salads or using them as a snack. Nuts are also healthy because the fat in them is a healthy fat that helps to prevent heart disease.
6. Artichokes – Many of us don’t eat artichokes on a regular basis, but we should. Toss them in a pasta salad, make an artichoke dip or sauté them in a little butter as a side dish.
7. Beans – Red beans carry the highest level of antioxidants, but any bean is a good choice. Beans are actually the best antioxidant food among the vegetable family.
8. Russet Potatoes – Potatoes are a great source of all sorts of vitamins, and they rank very high among the antioxidant foods.
9. Plums and Prunes – Prunes are slightly higher in antioxidants than plums, simply because they are dried and, therefore, concentrated. But either is packed with vitamins.
10. Green tea – Green tea contains polyphenols and catechins that are extremely effective at neutralizing the body’s free radicals. Experts agree that one of the reasons that Asians have a higher life expectancy than many other races is their high consumption of green tea.
11. Broccoli – Belonging to cruciferous vegetables, broccoli has sulforaphane, an isothiocyanate which is a powerful anti-cancer and anti-aging substance. Just, be careful how you cook broccoli because overcooking kills its nutrients. Since, broccoli’s healthiest compounds emerge only after they’ve been cut, chop florets int half and quarters and let them sit for few minutes before cooking.
12. Tomatoes – Lycopene is the substance found in tomatoes. It helps in combating cancerous cell formation by flushing out the free radicals. They have a synergestic cancer-fighting effect. The phytonutrients in tomatoes in tomatoes become more concentrated and bioavailable ehen tomatoes are cooked into a sauce or paste and are eaten with a little oil.
13. Garlic – A biennial and annual herb, this spice is part of Ayurvedic Medicine because of its grandiose curative qualities. Its antioxidants are allicin, allisatin I, and allisatin II; its vitamins and minerals include phosphorus, iron, calcium, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and ascorbic acid.
14. Red grapes – The main component of red grapes is the polyphenols which come in two forms: flavonoids and non-flavonoids. Resveratrol is a non-flavonoid anti-oxidant.
15. Spinach – Besides its vitamins and minerals, spinach’s secret weapon is lutein which is efficient in combating cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
16. Carrots – Among the vegetables, carrots have the highest amount of beta-carotene, the antioxidant that combats and prevents cancer cell formation.
17. Soy – Soy foods are naturally high in calcium and phytoestrogens.
18. Whole grains – Whole grains contain antioxidants such as lignans, phenolic acids, and phytoestrogen. These prevent the occurrence of heart diseases, cancers and diabetes.
19. Red Wine & Chocolate– Red wine, like red grapes, contains the antioxidant resveratrol, and drunk in moderation, can offer protection against heart disease and certain cancers. 70% dark chocolate, contains the antioxidant; procyanidin. Eating 1oz of dark chocolate or mixing raw cocoa powder into a drink or smoothie makes a healthy snack.
20. Cocoa – Cocoas hive high flavanols which helps in maintaining the blood flow in the body. It helps the platelets not become too viscous which can cause blood clots an in the long run cause stroke or heart attacks. So, the next time you buy chocolates make sure it contains about 10 grams of cocoa because it is extremely rich in antioxidants, responsible for overall health of the body.
The bottom line for getting your antioxidants is eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Plant based foods are definitely the best antioxidant foods, especially when eaten raw. Keep in mind that cooking at high temperatures destroys many antioxidants, so eat foods raw or lightly steamed when possible. Fortunately many of the antioxidants foods on this list are easily enjoyed in their natural state.