Antioxidants are key to keeping those free radicals at bay and your body looking younger longer. Get started with these high antioxidant foods today!
Did you know that antioxidants can help prevent cancer and age-related macular degeneration? Antioxidants help regulate cellular processes in the body and protect cells from free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can increase your risk of getting ill by damaging cells. The compounds found in antioxidant foods can protect your body against disease-causing pathogens. These compounds neutralize pathogens and boost the body's immunity. Antioxidants also help fight inflammation, promote eye health, and lower cholesterol. Knowing what to include in an antioxidant-rich diet can be quite challenging if you've never done it before. Luckily, this guide lists ten foods that are super rich in antioxidants.
1. Spinach As a nutritionally-dense vegetable, spinach comes loaded with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. The vegetable is also low in calories if gaining weight is a concern. Spinach is an excellent source of zeaxanthin and lutein, which are antioxidants that promote eye health. These two antioxidants protect the eyes from harmful light wavelengths such as UV light. You can take spinach when sticking to a vegan diet for the same benefits.
2. Beets Beets are the roots of a healthy vegetable referred to as Beta vulgaris. They have a mild taste and are rich in antioxidants, folate, iron, potassium, and fiber. Beetroot contains betalains, a group of antioxidants known to give the vegetable its reddish color. Betalains can lower your risk of digestive tract and colon cancer. You may also want to try beets since they contain compounds that help the body fight inflammation. It's even proven that taking betalain capsules relieves osteoarthritis inflammation and pain.
3. Beans Beans are among the inexpensive and healthy antioxidant foods a registered dietician would recommend for a green diet. They are a great source of fiber, which promotes bowel health and prevents constipation. Pinto beans, in particular, contain kaempferol, which is an antioxidant with incredible health benefits. Kaempferol helps suppress cancer growth in the lungs, kidneys, bladder, and breast. It also reduces chronic inflammation.
4. Kale Kale belongs to the same plant species as cauliflower and broccoli. It is rich in vitamins A, K, and C and antioxidants. Red kale varieties such as red Russian kale and red bor have twice as many antioxidants as other varieties. They are rich in anthocyanin antioxidants that give them their striking reddish color. Kale is low in calories and is an excellent plant-based source of calcium. You can take the vegetable in both raw or cooked forms.
5. Raspberries Often served in desserts, raspberries are tart berries with a soft feel. They are an excellent source of antioxidants, manganese, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. These berries are proven to lower the risk of heart disease and cancer. Raspberries are rich in anthocyanins, antioxidants known to prevent cell damage and reduce inflammation. These antioxidants can kill breast, colon, and stomach cancer cells. They may also slow down cancer growth and suppress certain cancer symptoms.
6. Strawberries Known for their sweet taste and versatility, strawberries are a group of berries filled with plenty of nutrients. They are a great source of antioxidants and vitamin C and are ideal for a healthy diet. Depending on the recipe, you can have them as a pre-workout snack or dessert or have them with your meals. Strawberries come packed with anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that give them their reddish color. The antioxidant can help lower bad cholesterol levels and raise good cholesterol levels. As a result, it can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
7. Blueberries Blueberries are nutrient-dense berries that you can add to your green diet when looking to stock up on antioxidants. They are known to have the highest amount of antioxidants compared to other consumed vegetables and fruits. Antioxidants found in blueberries can help slow the decline in brain function in the elderly. They prevent cell damage, reduce inflammation and change the expression of genes that cause this condition. Blueberries are rich in anthocyanins, which are proven to lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels. These antioxidants also help reduce risk factors for heart disease and remedy inflammation.
8. Pecans Native to South America and Mexico, pecans are a type of nut known to have a good amount of minerals and healthy fats. They can help increase antioxidant levels in the blood and prevent cell damage. Pecans can keep you full for long when taken with meals. They also blend well with a vegan diet and require little preparation.
9. Artichokes Artichokes are among the oldest nutrient-dense vegetables you can ever find. They have a rich taste and are known to treat liver ailments such as jaundice. These vegetables come packed with antioxidants, minerals, and dietary fiber. They are rich in chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant known to reduce inflammation and prevent cell damage. The antioxidant also reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Depending on how you prepare them, the antioxidant levels in this vegetable can vary. Steaming can raise the levels by 15 times, while boiling can increase the antioxidant levels by eight times while steaming. If you choose to fry them, they won't have as many antioxidants as they would with boiling or steaming.
10. Red Cabbage Also known as purple cabbage, red cabbage is a vegetable packed with antioxidants and vitamins C, K, and A. The vitamin C found in red cabbage can keep the skin firm and boost the immune system. Their antioxidant content is four times higher compared to regular cooked cabbage. Red cabbage contains antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which give it a vibrant color. These antioxidants reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers and help the body fight inflammation. Stir-fried and boiled red cabbage have a higher antioxidant content than steamed ones.
Looking to Add Antioxidant Foods to Your Diet? Though the body naturally makes antioxidants, you can get them from certain foods. Eating healthy antioxidant foods like the ones discussed in this guide carries many health benefits. Your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes will significantly reduce in the long run.
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