Antioxidants, in essence, are compounds that help prevent or delay damage to the cells in our body. When an individual consumes antioxidants in large quantities, it helps people defend their body against the oxidative stress caused by the free radicals that are unstable atoms.
When these free radicals begin to build in an individual’s body, they can lead to oxidative stress, which, in turn, can increase the risks of several diseases such as heart disease, cancer, as well as other chronic health complications. Different types of antioxidants are found in various foods. So, if you are searching for the best antioxidants foods, then continue reading further.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate, antioxidants are divided into different categories, each playing a vital role in promoting good health.
Phytonutrients are one of the most popular types of antioxidants that are essentially chemical compounds present in plants. They offer many benefits to the human body, such as antioxidant activity. According to scientists, there are over 4,000 phytonutrients, but only a few are observed closely. These include:
These are present in purple and blue vegetables and fruits, like eggplant, berries, carrots, purple potatoes, and asparagus. These antioxidants benefit the body in several ways, such as they help boost the health of your blood vessels.
This antioxidant is present in red wine, dark chocolate, grapes, and peanuts. These antioxidants help to reduce overall inflammation. They promote lung and heart health and are also helpful in preventing certain cancer types.
These antioxidants are present in spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, lettuce, collard greens, and artichokes. They promote heart and eye health and are also helpful in preventing certain cancers.
4 Best Antioxidant Foods
Now that you have discovered what antioxidants are good for and what the different types of antioxidants are, you must know about the best antioxidant foods that you can consume to improve your overall health condition.
Below, find a list of the four best antioxidant foods for your body.
Blueberries contain a high amount of nutrients and a low amount of calories. A 2017 research highlight that wild blueberries are rich in antioxidants. Several other studies have found that blueberries offer several health benefits to the body as they contain high antioxidants. Researchers have also found that antioxidants present in blueberries offer medicinal advantages for people with neurological conditions, such as those related to ageing. Another
review conducted in 2016 found that the anthocyanins in blueberries and other plant materials are excellent for our body as they offer anti-inflammatory properties. They help prevent high amounts of LDL or low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol and lower the risks of having heart disease while reducing blood pressure.
Dark chocolate also contains high amounts of antioxidants and nutrients. These offer several health benefits, such as reduced inflammation, lower the risks of heart disease, minimize chances of developing higher blood pressure levels, and promote good cholesterol. Research has found that dark chocolates help in reducing both lower and upper blood pressure measurements.
Beans are yet another excellent food option that one can consider to improve their antioxidant levels. Beans contain a lot of dietary fibre and protein. Some types of beans, like the pinto beans, have plenty of antioxidants. Pinto beans also have a plant flavonoid known as kaempferol that helps suppress the growth of cancer cells while also minimizing inflammation. Studies have also found that kaempferol suppresses certain cancers, like kidney, breast, lung, and bladder. Besides, beans also offer other health benefits, which is why it is always good to incorporate them into your regular diet.
Red cabbages have plenty of nutrients in them. Also called the purple cabbage, red cabbage is full of vitamins such as C, A, and K vitamins. They also contain high levels of antioxidants. Research has found that red cabbage offers nearly 2.2 mmol of antioxidant/3.5 ounces (or 100 grams), which is four times the antioxidants found in regular cabbage. Red cabbages contain a lot of anthocyanins, giving the vegetable its unique color. Anthocyanins are also present
in raspberries and strawberries. Anthocyanins offer several health advantages, such as reduced inflammation, protection against heart disease, and low risk of cancers. Red cabbages are rich in vitamin C that provides antioxidants to the body. It helps strengthen your body’s immune system and also keeps your skin firm. However, you must stir-fry or boil the red cabbage to boost the antioxidant level in it. Research has found that steaming the red cabbage reduced the antioxidant content by nearly 35 per cent.
To sum up, there are many benefits of consuming antioxidants. They are suitable for your immune system and help reduce the risk of several health complications, such as cancer and high blood pressure. So, if you are looking to make the most of antioxidants, then consume high amounts of antioxidants to stay fit and healthy.