We all know that having a diet rich with antioxidants is essential for better health. We all know that there is an abundance of food and drinks that we can get it from. But do we know what it does for our health and what’s the importance of antioxidants?
Antioxidants play a crucial role in healthy diets and protecting your body from health complications. It’s good to know how exactly antioxidants work in our health so we can become more motivated to eat well. There are many different types of antioxidants, and this can come from many different food sources they come from.
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Antioxidants are tiny molecules that your body uses to defend itself against free radicals. Free radicals are compounds that can harm the cells in your body and cause various types of health concerns and complications.
Free radicals are linked to the development of common illnesses such as colds, flu and can range to more serious ones including, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, to name a few.
It is important to add some antioxidants from natural food sources, including fruit and vegetables to your daily menu to, are used to fend off these free radicals and protect your long term health. Here are seven foods high in antioxidants that you might add to your daily menu.
One of the best natural protein and carb source you can get, beans are loaded with antioxidants and minerals to keep your health at its best. Also containing high amounts of fibre, beans are great for digestion and promoting better bowel health.
Beans can contain up to 2 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams, making it one of the best vegetable sources of antioxidants available. The particular antioxidant in beans are called kaempferol and are linked to reducing inflammation and the risk of cancer.
2. Dark Chocolate
If you’re a lover of chocolate, you’re in luck as dark chocolate contains some powerful antioxidants that can impact your health on multiple levels. The cocoa in dark chocolate contains an abundance of antioxidants and minerals that are linked with some impressive health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, reduce inflammation and reducing the risk of heart disease.
Studies have also shown that consuming cocoa-rich products can also raise HDL cholesterol, also known as good cholesterol to keep LDL cholesterol, also known as the bad type from oxidizing.
Blueberries arent just loaded with antioxidants, but also contain an array of healthy and important nutrients. Being low in calories, they are one of the best fruits to snack on. 100 grams of blueberries can contain up to 9.2 mmol of antioxidants making it one of the best super fruits for antioxidants.
Studies have shown that diets with blueberries, along with other fruits and vegetables, can delay the process of brain functioning decline due to ageing. It is said that its antioxidants content is responsible for this as well as neutralizing free radicals from attacking your cells and keeping you healthy.
Among one of the most popular berries and fruits in the world, strawberries are a rich source of vitamins and antioxidants. 100 grams of strawberries can contain up to 5.4 mmol of antioxidants and are high in vitamin C.
The type of antioxidants strawberries are known for are called anthocyanin. This is an antioxidant that is linked with reducing the risk of heart diseases as well as regulating cholesterol levels. Strawberries that contain higher levels of anthocyanin often appear in a brighter red.
5. Goji Berries
Used in China for centuries, this dry fruit is one of the healthiest superfoods you can find. Goji berry is a dried fruit that is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The antioxidant found in goji berries is called Lycium barbarum polysaccharides. They have known to combat the risk of heart-related diseases as well as the development of certain cancers.
Goji berries are also known to promote the growth of healthy skin cells and can combat the effects of ageing. As goji berries have high levels of vitamins and antioxidants, its often sold as supplement variants for people to increase their intake of healthy nutrients.
Another great berry to add on the list, raspberries are known for containing lots of dietary fibre and Vitamin C, not forgetting to mention its high levels of antioxidants. 100 grams of raspberries can contain up to 4 mmol of antioxidants.
Studies have shown that consistent and sufficient consumption, along with other berries, can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Like strawberries and blueberries, the antioxidants in raspberries are anthocyanins and can provide anti-inflammatory effects for the body.
Artichokes have been used since ancient times as a home remedy treatment. Not only are they great for your health, but artichokes are one of the best sources of antioxidants, minerals, and fibre. Artichokes are particularly rich with a type of antioxidant called chlorogenic acid.
Studies have shown that chlorogenic acid can work as an anti-inflammatory and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer as well as diabetes. Boiling or steaming artichokes will preserve its antioxidant content while frying it may reduce it.
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