Good sources of Antioxidants

Good sources of Antioxidants:

Good sources of Antioxidants

The process of oxidation in the human body damages cell membranes and other structures, including cellular proteins, lipids and DNA. When oxygen is metabolised, it creates unstable molecules called ‘free radicals’, which steal electrons from other molecules, causing damage to DNA and other cells.

Antioxidants and free radicals

Antioxidants are found in certain foods and may prevent some of the damage caused by free radicals by neutralising them. These include the nutrient antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E, and the minerals copper, zinc and selenium.

Other dietary food compounds, such as the phytochemicals in plants, are believed to have greater antioxidant effects than vitamins or minerals. These are called the non-nutrient antioxidants and include phytochemicals, such as lycopenes in tomatoes and anthocyanins found in cranberries.

A diet high in antioxidants may reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease and certain cancers. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals from the body cells, and prevent or reduce the damage caused by oxidation.

Sources of antioxidants

Plant foods are rich sources of antioxidants. They are most abundant in fruits and vegetables, as well as other foods including nuts, wholegrains and some meats, poultry and fish.

Common Foods with the Most Antioxidants:

Each food was measured for antioxidant concentration as well as antioxidant capacity per serving size. Cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries ranked highest among the fruits studied. Beans, artichokes, and Russet potatoes were tops among the vegetables. Pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts ranked highest in the nut category.

Total antioxidant capacity of the foods does not necessarily reflect their health benefit. Benefits depend on how the food’s antioxidants are absorbed and utilized in the body.

Disease fighting Antioxidants

A diet high in antioxidants may reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease and certain cancers. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals from the body cells, and prevent or reduce the damage caused by oxidation.

 Men who eat plenty of the antioxidant lycopene (found in tomatoes) may be less likely than other men to develop prostate cancer. Lutein, found in spinach and corn, has been linked to a lower incidence of eye lens degeneration and associated blindness in the elderly.

Here are some antioxidant rich foods that you must eat regularly and add to your daily diet if you haven’t already:

1)       Dark chocolate:

The Amazing Antioxidant Benefits of Dark Chocolate include High in Antioxidants Cocoa contains flavanols, a type of flavanoid that is only found in cocoa and chocolate. Lower LDL Cholesterol. Eating dark chocolate on a regular basis has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol by as much as 10 percent

2)         Kidney beans:

All kinds of beans – black, pinto, red and kidney beans are high-octane sources of antioxidants. Beans are also rich in muscle-boosting protein, have no cholesterol and little fat. Combing them with grains helps in making them a complete protein. Use them in salads, sandwiches or to make famous Punjabi Rajma. If you find them difficult to digest, drink a lot of fluids through the day.

3)       Tomatoes:

Tomatoes are loaded with health protective antioxidants such as lycopene, vitamin C, and vitamin A.  High levels of lycopene in tomatoes work to reduce your chances of developing prostate, colorectal and stomach cancer. Lycopene is a natural antioxidant that works effectively to slow the growth of cancerous cells.

Tomatoes contain a considerable amount of calcium and Vitamin K. Both of these nutrients are essential in strengthening and performing minor repairs on the bones as well as the bone tissue.  The lycopene in tomatoes is best absorbed when they are cooked.

4)       Raisins

Dark raisins are packed with anthocyanins that give you an energy boost.  Interestingly, raisins contain at least three times the amount of antioxidants as grapes, they are one of the richest sources of antioxidants of all foods. Raisins are an exceptional source of naturally occurring chemicals called phytonutrients, such as phenols and polyphenols. These types of nutrients are considered antioxidants.

5)       Beets

Beets are a great source of fiber, potassium, iron, folate and antioxidants; They’re particularly rich in a group of antioxidants called betalains. These give beets their reddish color and have been linked to health benefits.

6)       Spinach

Spinach is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals Vitamin A, Spinach is high in carotenoids, which the body can turn into vitamin A, Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that promotes skin health and immune function.

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