Antioxidants occur naturally in certain vegetables and fruits. The lycopene in tomatoes, beta-carotene in carrots or resveratrol in red wine, are all different types of antioxidants. Even chocolate makes the list with its flavonoids, which are also antioxidants.
Antioxidant-rich foods reduce the effects of free radicals. Therefore, to keep yourself healthy, consume more antioxidant-rich foods.
Here are the Top 7 antioxidant-rich foods you should include in your diet.
7 Antioxidant-Rich Foods:
Although low in calories, blueberries are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients.
According to a FRAP analysis, blueberries contain up to 9.2 mmol of antioxidants per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
Studies even suggest that blueberries contain the highest amount of antioxidants among all most commonly consumed vegetables and fruits.
Also, the antioxidants in blueberries, especially the type called anthocyanins, have been reported to reduce risk factors for heart disease, lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels.
2. Dark Chocolate
These antioxidants have been associated to impressive health benefits, such as reduced risk factors for heart disease and less inflammation.
Other healthy nutrients in dark chocolate are potassium, soluble fiber, zinc, manganese, copper, selenium, iron and magnesium.
As dark chocolate comes with some calories and moderate amount of sugar, consume it in moderation to get the health benefits without overdosing on calories or sugar.
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable and is a member of the group of vegetables that is cultivated from the species Brassica oleracea. Other members include cauliflower and broccoli.
Kale is one of the most nutritious greens and is rich in vitamins A, K and C. Also, it is loaded in antioxidants, providing up to 2.7 mmol per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
But, red varieties of kale such as Red Russian and redbor, contain nearly twice as much, up to 4.1 mmol of antioxidants per 3.5 ounces.
This is because red varieties of kale contain more anthocyanin antioxidants, and several other antioxidants that give them their vibrant color.
Also, kale is a great plant-based source of calcium, which is an essential mineral that helps maintain bone health, and plays roles in other cellular functions.
Pecans are also a rich source of important B complex vitamins, folic acid, vitamin A, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc. Also, pecans are a great source of protein and unsaturated fats.
To get the antioxidant benefit of pecans, you can try sprinkling them on top of fruit-flavored yogurt, waffles or pancakes, or hot or cold cereal.
Spinach is known as one of the richest sources of antioxidants.
It is one of the best sources of beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant known for its anti-aging, anticancer, and heart-protecting properties. Also, it has an abundance of the antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein.
Spinach is also a good source of vitamins A, B2, C, E and K and contains minerals such as magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, folate and calcium. Also, it is rich in dietary fiber and is low in calories.
You should eat about 1 cup of spinach daily. You can add it into your smoothies, salads, sandwiches, juice, stir-fries and main dishes.
Among the antioxidant-rich foods, strawberries also rank high on the list. Strawberries contain anthocyanins, the antioxidants that help protect against cardiovascular disease.
Strawberries are rich in several B vitamins, vitamins C and vitamins K. Also, strawberries contain manganese, magnesium, potassium, folate, dietary fiber, potassium, biotin, and omega-3 fatty acids. Also, they are low in calories and have high water content.
Consume a handful of ripe strawberries everyday as a healthy snack to get the antioxidant benefits. Also, you can add a few strawberries to your favorite milk shake, smoothie, salad, ice cream and pie.
With just 1 sip of tea, you get 2 potent phytochemicals, pro-anthocyanin and anthocyanin. Both are antioxidants that help in fighting inflammation. Add to that a healthy dose of catechins, which are antioxidants that are thought to block cell damage which can lead to cancer.
Green tea contributes many other protective phytochemicals. The catechin epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is abundant in green tea, is a particularly potent antioxidant.
If you are sensitive to small amounts of caffeine, choose the decaf options.
- The 5 Most Powerful Antioxidants for Your Skin
- Eating Right For Your Eye’s Sake: Antioxidants That Keep Your Eyes Healthy
- Walking Barefoot: Powerful Antioxidant for Heart Health, Healthier Feet and More
photo credit: pixabay