21 Antioxidant Rich Foods
Have you ever observed, some people are healthy but look older than they are? And there are some people who look young in spite of their older age. Are you curious to know why and how this happens? You are in the right place. Read this post to know about antioxidant rich foods.
Our body consists of free radicals and antioxidants. Both are beneficial for our body; however, free radicals start to play a villainous role when their number increases. They cause oxidative damage which results in accelerated aging, mutations, and even the deadly diseases such as cancer (1). These free radicals can be neutralized with antioxidants. Therefore, it is essential to increase the number of antioxidants in your body by consuming the foods rich in antioxidants and stay young and healthy (2).
What are Antioxidants?
As their name suggests, antioxidants are substances that obstruct ‘oxidants,’ i.e. free radicals, and thereby inhibit the oxidation process. Free Radicals are the atoms or group of unpaired atoms. When these atoms react with some other molecules in the body, the process of aging is fastened (3). Various food-based substances such as lycopene, beta-carotene, vitamin-C, and carotenoids are the examples of antioxidants (4) (5). They eliminate the damaging effect of free radicals and lead to:
- Slower aging,
- Healthier and glowing skin,
- Increased life span,
- Protection against heart and other diseases, and
- Reduced risk for eye–related disorders.
Antioxidant Rich Foods
These antioxidant–rich foods will boost your immunity and make your body less susceptible to developing disorders.
Tomatoes are a rich source of antioxidants. They contain lycopene which is a primary antioxidant carotenoid, responsible for the color of tomatoes. Lycopene promotes bone health and makes them strong. It is also excellent for the heart as it prevents various heart diseases. Moreover, it keeps diabetes off limits.
Other than lycopene, tomatoes also contain beta-carotene, vitamin C, manganese and vitamin E.
Oranges are well known for their excessively high Vitamin C content. Vitamin C plays multiple positive roles in your body. It keeps your skin, bones, teeth, and eyes healthy. Moreover, it provides a boost to your immune system by aiding in the production of antibodies.
Besides, oranges contain phytonutrients such as carotenoids and flavonoids. These antioxidants lower your cholesterol level and possess anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Avocados grab a reputed position when it comes to keeping yourself healthy. This can be attributed to their numerous health benefits. Most of you might be already knowing this fact, so avocados having a high content of antioxidants too is nothing of a surprise.
Moreover, avocados contain, lutein, selenium, lycopene, beta-carotene, Vitamin A, C, and E. Do try them if you haven’t yet.
Berries such as cranberries, blueberries, and strawberries are exceedingly rich in antioxidants. On the top of that, they contain Vitamin, A, Vitamin C and loads of flavonoids such as anthocyanidin and quercetin.
The catch with the berries is that you have to avoid dried berries as they are high in sugar which helps form more free radicals.
Walnuts top the list when it is about the highest number of antioxidants, of all the nuts out there. Consuming walnuts on a daily basis, roasted or raw, provides health benefits such as decreased risk of cancer and heart stroke. Walnuts also boost the cognitive capabilities and help prevent the neurodegenerative diseases.
Grapes are not only delicious but also contains a fair amount of antioxidant phytonutrients such as resveratrol and beta-carotene. Moreover, grapes are rich in Vitamin C which is another powerful antioxidant. Due to these reasons, drinking wine is regarded beneficial for health. Other than that, grapes also contain manganese, vitamin C, and melatonin. These nutrients are found in highest concentration in the skin and seeds of grapes.
You can find broccoli in each of the lists of foods that promote health. Therefore, it is considered as a superfood. Broccoli has an abundance of antioxidants in addition to the other nutrients. It has a good amount of dietary fiber, minerals, and protein. The Vitamin C content of Broccoli is highest of any green leafy vegetable. Moreover, it also includes Vitamin E, zinc, manganese, flavonoids such as quercetin and kaempferol, and carotenoids such as beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein.
Eggs contain two powerful antioxidants; Lutein and Zeaxanthin, that provide a protective effect to the eyes. These antioxidants tend to accumulate in the retina which is a sensory part of the eyes. Due to their inclination toward eyes, these antioxidants prevent diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration from occurring. Eating two egg yolks daily is found to considerably increase the concentration of both of these antioxidants in the blood.
Cabbage is a green leafy cruciferous veggie which comes with a lot of benefits for the body. It contains 196.5 mg of polyphenol antioxidants and 28.3 mg of anthocyanins. Red cabbage is a great source of antioxidant anthocyanin. Moreover, cabbage also contains dietary fiber and glucosinolates which has anti-carcinogenic properties. Besides, it is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate and minerals such as manganese and potassium.
Pumpkin is an excellent source of carotenoids such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. Other than that, it also contains lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids. With these properties, pumpkin can help you prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, and eye problems. Pumpkin is also low in calories. With just 49 calories, pumpkin becomes relevant for individuals trying to lose their weight.
Carrots come in different shades such as red, white, yellow, purple and red. While all these varieties have a good number of antioxidants, purple, however, has the highest of them. The carrots even get their color due to the antioxidant carotenoid, specifically the beta-carotene. Beta-carotene undergoes various reactions in the body and gets converted into Vitamin A. Moreover, carrots are also rich in Vitamin C, D, E, K, and minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
Onions are a rich source of various types of flavonoid antioxidants. The antioxidant activity in onions is much effective and also have antiallergic, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. The flavonoid antioxidants namely kaempferol and quercetin are found more in the red onions (415-1917) than the white and yellow onions. Red onions also contain 25 different anthocyanins due to which they get their red/purple color.
Spinach is the healthiest food and has more than 10 types of flavonoid antioxidants. Carotenoid antioxidants present in spinach reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, and obesity. Moreover, spinach is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, and minerals such as selenium, zinc, and manganese.
14. Red Wine
The antioxidant properties of red wine can be attributed to the resveratrol antioxidant found in grapes. The red wines that are incredibly beneficial for your health with high levels of resveratrol are; Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Madirans, Merlot, Syrahs, and Barbera. Resveratrol prevents serious diseases like heart disease and cancer.
15. Green Tea
Green tea which is regarded as an excellent food to lose extra weight contains antioxidants also. Therefore, Green tea drinkers are less susceptible to cancers of prostate and breast. However, the antioxidant value of green tea can get reduced if you choose to add milk to it. So, it is better to drink it plain to get the maximum benefit of its antioxidants.
Seafood is not usually considered when we talk about the foods rich in antioxidants. But that is an utter mistake which you should not repeat. Seafood is abundant in a variety of antioxidants and possesses a high degree of potency. Some of the examples of seafood are- fish, crabs, prawns, shellfish, sea urchin, sea-cucumber.
All the varieties of corn provide antioxidant phytonutrients. Some of the key phytonutrients are carotene, vanillic acid, coumaric acid, ferulic acid, caffeic acid and syringic acid. Moreover, corn is also a good source of phosphorus, niacin, manganese, dietary fiber, and vitamin B6. Also, the antioxidant activity of corn is increased when it is cooked.
Researchers have established the fact that red watermelon contains more lycopene than red tomatoes. The lycopene bioavailability also is high in watermelon which means the body can utilize more of this phytonutrient. Watermelon is also a top-rated source of carotenoid. Moreover, it contains vitamin C and A, pantothenic acid, and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and copper.
Sprouts of all types are an easy and tasty way to add antioxidants to your diet. They mainly contain vitamin E antioxidant. You can consume sprouts by introducing them to your breakfast as salads.With their boost of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, you can avoid cancer and osteoporosis. Sprouts reduce your cholesterol levels also and help you lose weight.
Milk and other dairy products contain fat-soluble antioxidants which you can’t get from plants but are essential for the normal functioning of nervous tissue and lungs. Milk also contains water-soluble antioxidants that work together with fat-soluble antioxidants to fight off the oxidative stress and oxidative damage.
Ghee can provide you with a boost of antioxidants such as carotenoids, vitamin A, and vitamin E, in the tastiest way ever. All these vitamins are fat soluble. Ghee or the clarified butter promotes healthy growth of skin cells and boosts your immunity to fight unwanted and harmful substances such as free radicals. Ghee also helps in weight loss.
These foods are normally consumed by everyone. Now, when you know the health benefits they bring about, you can try to eat more of them. If you didn’t know about them yet, now is the time to incorporate them into your diet. These foods pack a boost of antioxidants and will protect your body from the damaging effects of free radicals. Besides, these foods also provide additional benefits such as boosting your immunity.