Free radicals, also known as reactive oxygen species, are a threat to the body cells. They damage the genetic materials of the cells and cause cardiovascular disorders, premature aging, cancer and various other chronic health problems. Free radicals are usually produced by the body as byproducts of metabolism and respiration. In addition, exposure to sunlight, pollutants and even certain food ingredients trigger production of free radicals.
Antioxidants, by neutralizing the free radicals, transform them into harmless substances. Antioxidants are found in foods. To boost the antioxidant status of your body, eat foods that contain the following antioxidants.
Here Are 6 Amazing Antioxidants For Great Health:
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. It is a fat soluble antioxidant. It inhibits production of free radicals during oxidation of fats. Nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, pumpkin, papaya and mango are some of the best sources of vitamin E.
Beta-carotene is present in the pigment of the orange and yellow colored vegetables. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A. Prominent sources of beta-carotene include carrot, sweet potato, apricots, peaches and peppers.
Vitamin C apart from protecting the body cells from the free radicals also helps in regeneration of vitamin E from its oxidized form. Citrus fruits, berries, bell pepper, tomatoes and leafy green vegetables are some of the popular sources of vitamin C.
Zinc is not only essential for the functioning of the immune system. It also helps in negating the free radicals. Foods rich in zinc include oysters, poultry, red meat, nuts, beans, whole grains and dairy products.
Selenium is noted for its antioxidant activity. This trace mineral is found in Brazil nuts, whole grains, poultry and tuna.
Flavonoids are phytochemicals found in berries and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids that have been widely studied for their antioxidant activities include resveratrol found in red grapes, catechin present in tea leaves and anthocyanins found in cherries and berries.