Antioxidants are molecules that help prevent the oxidation of other molecules. They are needed to counteract the buildup of oxidized molecules or free radicals in the body which speed up aging and cause a person to suffer from certain health conditions including heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants are present in a number of foods especially fruits and vegetables. We have listed the top 10 foods that are high in antioxidants.
1. Red Beans
Beans are famous for their many health benefits. In particular, red beans are high in antioxidants as they contain eight flavonoids which act as antioxidants that help protect a person from heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Boost your health by including red beans in your diet at least twice a week. They are best served as a side dish or combined with other vegetables such as tomatoes which are also high in nutritional value.
Blueberries are among the fruits that are rich in health-boosting benefits. They contain more antioxidants than 40 other common vegetables and fruits. In fact, half a cup of blueberries provides between 9,000 and 13,000 antioxidants, which is ten times what the USDA recommends. In addition, the fruit’s bluish color is due to the presence of a pigment called anthocyanins which proves to be beneficial in preventing heart disease. Researchers also saw the potential benefits of blueberries in lowering the sugar level of the blood and in improving one’s night vision.
3. Kidney Beans
Kidney beans which include black, red, white and navy kidney beans are high in antioxidants as well as dietary fiber, protein, folic acid, iron and potassium among others. They are also low in fat and contain no cholesterol, trans fats and saturated fats. Because of their nutritional contents, kidney beans are found to be helpful in preventing certain types of cancers and in managing diabetes. Kidney beans are also helpful in the prevention of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
For many years now, scientists have proved that cranberries can help avert infection in the urinary tract by preventing harmful bacteria from attaching to the walls. These berries are also rich in ellagic acid, a type of antioxidant that helps the body fight cancerous cells. In addition, researchers have found out that cranberries are rich in antioxidants as well as phytonutrients which are essential in preventing memory loss, heart disease and other conditions.
Artichokes are also great health-boosting foods as they are high in dietary fiber, vitamin C and folate, but are low in sodium and calories.
Considered to be one of the most balanced foods, nuts offer a great dose of healthy fats as well as protein. There is a wide range of nuts available and each offers a distinct type of phytochemicals such as plant sterols and resveratrol, minerals, and fat. For instance, among nuts, walnuts have the highest omega-3 content.
This cruciferous vegetable is considered to be one of the most nutritious vegetables, as broccoli is richer in vitamin C more than oranges and has more calcium than milk. It is also rich in phytonutrients, particularly sulforaphane which has been found by researchers to help reduce the risk of certain types of cancers.
Recognized for their high dietary content, prunes also have another plus factor: their antioxidant properties which are recognized to help in slowing down the progress of age-related physical and mental health conditions such as memory loss.
9. Brussels Sprouts
The compound isothiocyanates and the bitter sulforaphane present in Brussel sprouts are notorious for detoxifying the body of cancer-causing substances. From a Dutch study, a respondent who eats this vegetable daily within three weeks will show a 28-percent reduced risk of genetic damage which is the main cause of cancer.
Cherries are packed with antioxidants called melatonin which protects the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation. Researchers have also discovered that this sweet fruit also stimulates the growth of skin cells. Aside from that, cherries are also a good source of vitamin C which helps maintain healthy skin.
There are many other vegetable and fruits aside from those listed above that may also contain antioxidants. Including these foods in your daily diet can help keep maintain your body’s physical and mental health.