Antioxidants are some of the most famous food nutrients known to us. These compounds have been known to fight off deadly diseases like cancers, and are therefore very much sought after. Antioxidants also help reduce inflammation in the body and fight off free radicals that attack our cells.
Some of the most well known benefits of antioxidants:
- Boosts immunity
- Lower risk of infection
- Offers protection from heart diseases
- Delays aging and age-related degeneration
Antioxidants are dietary substances that include various nutrients like beta-carotene and vitamin C. As the name suggests, antioxidants safeguard the body from the evil effects of oxidation.
Oxidation is the process in which the oxygen that we breathe in combines with other elements within the body to enable metabolism. The result of oxidation is the production of energy. However, when oxidation takes place, certain harmful elements are released. These unstable elements are called free radicals.
Antioxidants eliminate free radicals. If free radicals are not destroyed by antioxidants, the body experiences much cell damage. Free radicals that attack the body’s fat reserves lead to the formation of plaque in arteries. When free radicals attack the DNA, it can cause mutations that ultimately lead to cancers. It is any wonder that health focused fat loss plan like Truth About Abs, for instance, stress the importance of eating foods which are rich in antioxidants.
In young children, the body is capable of generating some of the antioxidants it requires and assimilates the rest from food. However, as we age, the body depends almost entirely on healthy food for its supply of antioxidants. When sufficient amounts of antioxidants are not available, the body becomes prone to age-related degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Thus, the key to achieving good health and arresting age-related degeneration is to ensure that the body receives its required supply of antioxidants. This is particularly important in this day and age where the body is subjected to outside forces that contribute to the increase of free radicals, like fast foods, pollution and environmental concerns.
Food sources of antioxidants
The good news is that antioxidants are available in plenty in various fruits and vegetables. Therefore, a diet of varied fruits and vegetables ensures that the body gets its required supply of antioxidants.
Dry fruits like dates, prunes and apricots contain antioxidants.
Among vegetables, chili pepper, red cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts, corn, spinach, lemon, ginger and beets are rich in antioxidants. Carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and kale also have good amounts of antioxidants.
Legumes are exceptionally rich in antioxidants. These include black beans, pinto beans, broad beans and soybeans.
Sunflower seeds, walnuts, hazelnuts and peanuts contain antioxidants. The antioxidant content in roasted peanuts exceeds that in beets and carrots.
Antioxidants are present in cereals like oats, corn, millets and barley and spices like cloves, oregano, turmeric, Gingko biloba and red clover also contain antioxidants. Green tea is also very rich in antioxidants as is high quality dark chocolate.
All foods are not equal in their antioxidant content. Besides, certain foods listed here may be regional and not available throughout the year. However, taking in a balanced diet consisting of plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is the best way to ensure that you get sufficient quantities of healthy antioxidants.