11 Antioxidant-rich foods to boost your overall health
02/24/2021 / By Brocky Wilson / Comments
11 Antioxidant-rich foods to boost your overall health

Antioxidants are disease-fighting compounds that are important for good health. They counteract harmful free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage your cells.

High levels of free radicals cause oxidative stress that can increase your risk of cancer, diabetes and other diseases. Your body naturally produces free radicals, but exposure to toxins like tobacco smoke can ramp up the production of these molecules.

Antioxidants scavenge free radicals to help ward off diseases. They help reduce cancer risk, slow down aging and fight inflammation, among other things. Many antioxidants are also important for your body to function properly. Vitamin C, for example, helps your body absorb iron, which is an essential mineral for blood production.

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Best antioxidant-rich foods

Our body produces antioxidants, but this process slows down as we age. Thankfully, several foods are loaded with antioxidants. You can boost your overall health by eating the following antioxidant-rich foods:

  1. Berries These superfoods are some of the best sources of antioxidants like resveratrol and anthocyanins. Studies show that blueberries, blackberries and raspberries have the highest antioxidant activity among commonly consumed fruits.
  2. Artichokes – This vegetable is not just tasty; it is also incredibly nutritious. In fact, artichoke contains the highest antioxidant levels of any vegetable.
  3. Pomegranates – Alongside berries, pomegranates boast the highest antioxidant activity among commonly consumed fruits.
  4. Nuts – Walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts have the highest antioxidant content of any tree nuts. They’re also rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, which help promote weight loss, strengthen the heart and reduce inflammation.
  5. Kidney beans – These blood-red beans boast impressive amounts of antioxidants. Be sure to properly cook kidney beans as they can be toxic when raw.
  6. Ground clove – This potent spice is a favorite in Indian cuisine. But more than just a flavoring, clove is also a powerful herb packed with antioxidants.
  7. Prunes – Plums are delicious and incredibly nutritious. But their dried version, prunes, are even more nutrient-dense.
  8. Leafy greensGreen leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are loaded with phytochemicals, which help reduce inflammation and fight cancer.
  9. Green tea – Sipping green tea is good for the body, thanks to this popular drink’s antioxidant activity. Add lemon to better absorb the nutrients in green tea.
  10. Dark chocolate – Not all kinds of chocolate are bad. Dark chocolate, for example, is chock-full of antioxidants that help fend off disease.
  11. Brewed coffee – Yes, even the world’s favorite pick-me-up contains impressive amounts of antioxidants.

Health benefits of antioxidant-rich foods

Check out the following health benefits of antioxidant-rich foods:

  • Reduce cancer risk – Many studies show that antioxidant-rich foods like berries and nuts help prevent certain types of cancer.
  • Combat heart disease – Antioxidants help prevent the oxidation of fat, therefore limiting inflammation that can increase your risk of heart disease.
  • Keep your brain healthy – Antioxidants fight inflammation in the brain, which contributes to the development of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  • Strengthen your immunity – Vitamins C and E, to name a few, help fend off infections and boost your immune system. Foods rich in these nutrients include oranges, tomatoes, wheat germ oil and spinach.
  • Delay the effects of aging – The antioxidants in berries help delay memory loss and other effects of aging. They do so by helping preserve the connections between your brain cells.
  • Preserve good eyesight – Carotenoids, the pigments that give many fruits and veggies their distinct colors, are powerful antioxidants that help protect your eyes from damage.
  • Keep skin young-looking – Studies show that antioxidants help minimize wrinkles, keep the skin tight and protect you from sun damage.

Eating antioxidant-rich foods is one of the best ways to ward off diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. Incorporate foods like berries, nuts and leafy greens into your diet to stay healthy.

Sources:

Medium.com

Pubs.ACS.org

NFCR.org

MentalFloss.com

Healthline.com

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