Antioxidants are naturally occurring and man-made chemicals which protect our body from the damage caused by free radicals (harmful molecules) that damage healthy cells and DNA. Lack of antioxidant in our diet makes us susceptible to various diseases and illnesses like cancer and premature aging, heart disease etc. Natural antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetable, plants and some sea foods.
There are thousands of antioxidant compounds, but most common dietary antioxidant are vitamin A, C, and E, beta-carotene, lycopene and some mineral like selenium and flavonoids found in plants, fruits and teas. Antioxidant is also produced artificially and often consumed in supplement form. The best way to consume antioxidant is in their natural form from fruits and vegetables. Here are 10 best antioxidant rich foods which you should include in your regular diet to boost your intake of vitamin, minerals and other key nutrients that protect your body and improve immune function.
10 Antioxidant Rich Foods You Must Add In Your Diet:
Grapes, particularly dark colored grapes like red, purple and blue, are high in phytochemicals – the antioxidants that are said to protect against heart disease and cancer. The phytochemicals anthocyanin and proanthocyanidin are especially helpful in optimal functioning of the immune system. Besides this grapes are good source of vitamin C and selenium as well.
This dried fruit is high in antioxidants. Prunes not only protect your brain from free radical damage, but also provide protection against chronic disease like heart disease and cancer. They are high in two unique phytonutrients that have been found to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and prevent type-2 diabetes and obesity. Prunes are high in soluble fiber that helps to keep blood sugar level stable. The soluble fiber in prunes keeps you satisfied for longer and helps relieve you from constipation. Due to rich source of phenolic and flavonoid compound, it can improve bone health and prevent osteoporosis. They are also high in vitamin K and beta carotene which improves circulation and fight signs of aging.
Packed with antioxidant vitamins and minerals along with key phytochemicals, blueberries are extremely effective against cancer and heart diseases. The vitamins and minerals contained in blueberries helps to strengthen immune system, prevent cell damage and strengthen immune system. Eating a handful of blueberries on regular basis can help to balance blood sugar level.
Dark Green Veggies
The dark green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, collard green and kale are brimming with phytochemicals which have cancer-fighting properties. Lettuce and kale provides strong antioxidants like lutein and quercetin. These super veggies are high in nutrients like vitamin C, A, E and calcium, potassium and magnesium that help to fight disease.
Nuts are excellent source of healthy fats, along with protein and carbohydrates. Phytochemicals known as resveratrol and plant sterol contained in most nuts help to lower cholesterol. Adding nuts to your diet can provide immense benefit as each type of nut offers beneficial minerals, phytochemicals and fats. Walnuts are highest source of omega-3 fatty acids and delivers good source of cancer fighting antioxidants. Brazil nuts are good source of selenium.
Drinking tea help you get two potent phytochemicals and polyphenols, the antioxidant that help to fight inflammation. Besides this, tea contains catechins – the antioxidant that can block cell damage that causes cancer. Green tea particularly contains protective phytochemicals’ EGCG which is a powerful antioxidant and provides protection against oxidative stress.
Strawberries are considered one of the best antioxidant rich foods as they contribute to heart health. Strawberries are high in phenolic compounds like flavonoids which help to fight free radical production and provide protection against heart diseases, diabetes, cancer and dementia. Strawberries also reduce bad cholesterol and aid in eye health and maintaining healthy skin.
Beans are excellent source of antioxidants. They contain many vitamins, minerals and fiber. Lentils and black eyes peas contain high amount of folate and zinc; similarly black beans and kidney beans are also rich in folate and other essential nutrients. Soy beans are rich in vitamin C, zinc, selenium and calcium. Beans are highly beneficial for our digestive health.
Blackberries are one of the highest antioxidant rich foods. Blackberries are high in vitamin C, ellagic acid and fiber which have been known to reduce cancer risk. Nutritionists strongly recommend including blackberries in your diet for their antioxidant benefits. You can add them in your breakfast cereals or in smoothies.
Fish are excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Researches suggest that the omega-3 fatty acids obtained from fish can prevent inflammatory disease like heart disease, arthritis etc. The fish which are high in omega-3 are salmon, sardine, mackerel, tuna, herring and oysters.