Antioxidants and free radicals are popular discussion topics on the web, but do you know why? Antioxidants are components that are essential for maintaining overall cellular health, which can be disrupted by free radicals. An easy way to improve your body’s ability to fight these free radicals is to add more antioxidant-rich foods to your diet. This is easy, as many fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts are good sources of these essential nutrients.
What Are Antioxidants?
By definition, antioxidants are components that have the ability to protect the cells in the body from damage caused by radiation, environmental pollution, chemicals, and smoking.
All these external factors aid in the production of free radicals, which can create havoc in the cellular system. Free radicals are known to be unstable by nature, and this instability is said to prompt chain reactions at a cellular level; studies have linked these reactions even to the development of different cancers.
Antioxidants are the powerful components that can fight these free radicals and curb their activity. Apart from supporting cellular health, antioxidants are also known to benefit other parts of the body. There are different types of antioxidants and each has its own benefits:
- Flavonoids are good for the heart
- Beta-carotene and carotenoids support vision and eye health
- Lycopene is said to support and promote prostate health
- Proanthocyanidins help urinary tract health
- Spirulina and astaxanthin may be able to support immune health
When the body’s defense mechanism, the immune system, gets strong backing from antioxidants, it can reduce the chances of contracting infections. Research also shows that increasing antioxidant intake may help avoid, delay, or improve memory-related problems and even mood disorders.
Apart from these health benefits, antioxidants have also been said to promote skin health, improve longevity, and help with the body’s detoxification process which reduces free radicals.
Top 10 Antioxidant Foods
In most cases, naturally occurring free radicals are way more in number than the antioxidants produced by the body and this is when it becomes important to complement the body’s antioxidant supply with an enriched diet.
It is definitely important to lead a healthy lifestyle, which includes following a balanced diet and regular exercise routine. Even though many eat a healthy diet, they rely heavily on getting their nutrients from supplements. The fun fact is that most of the nutrients we need are available through fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seafood, and more; we just need to know where to look.
Antioxidant values in foods are determined by their Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORSC) score and here are some of the top that you will love:
- Goji berries
- Dark Chocolate
- Kidney Beans
- Wild Blueberries
You can find this powerful component in various other sources including nuts, herbal teas, and whole grains. So what are you waiting for? Write a list, grab a reusable bag, and head out to your favorite store to stock up on antioxidant-rich foods that will benefit you and your family.
- Axe, Josh. “These Foods, Herb, Spices & Oils Are Absolutely Bursting with Antioxidants.” Dr. Axe, Dr. Axe, 7 May 2018, draxe.com/top-10-high-antioxidant-foods/.
- Lehman, Shereen, and Richard N. Fogoros. “The Benefits of Antioxidants.” Verywell Fit, Verywellfit, www.verywellfit.com/what-are-the-benefits-of-antioxidants-2507083.
- “Benefits of Antioxidants.” Nutrex Hawaii, www.nutrex-hawaii.com/blogs/learn/benefits-of-antioxidants#.
- Dabfm, et al. “The Health Benefits of Antioxidants.” Dr. Group’s Healthy Living Articles, Global Healing Center, Inc, 14 Oct. 2015, www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/health-benefits-of-antioxidants/.