Antioxidant Foods

Antioxidant Foods

Natural antioxidant foods are vegetables, fruits, cereals, legumes, seeds, nuts, poultry, fish and some meats.

Antioxidants are nutrients or substances that may protect your body against the damages of free radicals.

Free radicals are by-products of oxygen that your body uses or the molecules produced when you body breaks down food or by
environmental exposures like radiation and tobacco smoke. They can lead to cell dysfunction and the onset of problems like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

The antioxidant process is similar to stopping an apple from browning. Once you cut an apple it begins to brown, but if you dip it in orange juice, which contains vitamin C, it stays white.

Most Commonly Known Antioxidant Substances:

Vitamin A (Beta-carotene) is what gives yellow and orange fruit and vegetables their color. The main food sources are yellow and green leafy vegetables such as spinach, carrots and red peppers and yellow fruits such as mango, melon and apricots.

Vitamin C serves a predominantly protective role in the body, found in parsley, broccoli, bell pepper, strawberries, oranges, lemon juice, papaya, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, and Brussels sprouts.

Vitamin E protects your skin from ultraviolet light , prevents cell damage from free radicals, allows your cells to communicate effectively; found in sunflower seeds, almonds, olives, spinach and other green leafy vegetables, broccoli, whole grains and mangoes.

Selenium plays an important role in our immune system’s function, in thyroid hormone metabolism and in reproduction, Brazil nuts, bread, fish, meat and eggs.

Lycopene is linked with reduced incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease and macular degeneration; found primarily in tomatoes and tomato products, also in fruits like watermelon, pink grapefruit and guava.

Lutein is a yellow or orange pigment concentrated in the retinas of your eyes and is necessary for good vision, found in carrots, squash and other orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, green leafy vegetables such as spinach.

Polyphenols / flavonoids may protect against some common health problems and possibly certain effects of aging, can also block the action of enzymes that cancers need for growth, found in legumes, fruits- apples, berries, cherries, grapes and vegetables- broccoli, cabbage, celery, onion and parsley; red wine, coffee, chocolate, green tea, coffee, olive oil and whole grains.

Top 20 High Antioxidant Foods:

1. Small red beans- dried

2. Wild blueberries

3. Red kidney beans- dried

4. Pinto beans

5. Blueberries

6. Cranberries

7. Artichoke hearts- cooked

8. Blackberries

9. Prunes

10. Raspberries

11. Strawberries

12. Red delicious apples

13. Granny Smith apples

14. Pecans

15. Sweet cherries

16. Black plums

17. Russet potatoes

18. Black beans- dried

19. Plums

20. Gala apples

The Author:

Please see Antioxidant Foods article for more information.

Photo. Julita

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