Why Eat Antioxidants
Antioxidants are like bodyguards that keep our cells safe from damage that conditions and premature aging can do. They neutralize harmful free radicals present in the body. Free radicals are compounds that play a major role in Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart diseases etc.
Even though there are various supplements available in the market to fulfill your intake of antioxidants, many physicians suggest that it is more beneficial to consume them rather than take supplements. You can easily increase the daily intake of these antioxidants since they can be found in many commonly consumed foods like veggies, fruits, nuts, and sweets. Do you want to add more into your diet? Try these top foods rich in antioxidants:
Rich in the compound called polyphenols; berries are known to counteract the early decline of motor skills and cognitive functions that are associated with aging. Just one cup of berries provides with 7 grams of fiber, which is almost a third of the recommended daily intake.
Only a handful of these can help lower the cholesterol levels. Pecans are highly rich in manganese, a strong anti-aging antioxidant that keeps the skin firm. For men, it is even more beneficial since it helps improve prostate health.
Cranberries raise the good HDL cholesterol levels and support the immune system. They are rich in an antioxidant called PAC that is responsible for keeping the bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder. It helps prevent urinary tract infections.
Walnuts are a great source of fiber, manganese, and protein. They are also rich in healthy unsaturated fats and are specifically rich in alpha-linolenic acid, a fatty acid that is commonly found in plants.
Loaded with skin-friendly antioxidants and rich in vitamin C, strawberries help the complexion recover from the damage caused by pollution and UV rays. They also contain high amounts of folate that protect the heart.
Artichokes contain magnesium which generates high amounts of energy. They also have the highest amounts of antioxidants amongst all vegetables and are also known to improve liver function and heart health.
Blueberries are rich in the antioxidant called anthocyanin, which is also what gives them their deep blue color. Blueberries contain high levels of vitamin K, C, and manganese which helps to fight against cancer cell growth as well as protect from heart disease memory loss due to aging.
Dark, high-quality chocolate contains the antioxidant flavanol that reduces the risk of diabetes and lowers blood pressure. Opt for dark chocolate instead of processed, sugary chocolates as they contain higher amounts of antioxidants.
High levels of anthocyanins give cherries their deep red color and this compound reduces inflammation and controls cholesterol. Sour, dried and canned cherries are known to have more antioxidants than fresh cherries. Tart cherries also contain melatonin which helps regulate the sleep cycle.
Just like the other berries, raspberries have anti-inflammatory properties which help manage arthritis and gout. The polyphenols present in their fiber helps protect against heart disease and they have a high concentration of the antioxidant, ellagitannins, which can help fight cancer.