Antioxidant Ballers: Our List Of Top Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Antioxidants is a word we hear a lot these days. Everywhere we look, some food or the other supposedly contains antioxidants. We might not even know what they are and why they’re good for us, but we definitely know that they are desirable for a healthy body.
With all the hoopla surrounding it, it may be difficult to make sense of it all. So here we are, to tell you what antioxidants are, why they’re good for us, and best of all, which foods top the list in terms of their antioxidant content.
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are substances that counter the effects of free radicals in the body. When certain kinds of oxygen molecules travel freely in the body, they cause damage. This damage is known as oxidative damage, and can cause a number of ailments, ranging from cancer to ageing. Free radicals can be caused by toxins, smoking, chemicals, pollution, and other environmental reasons. Surprisingly, they are formed by the body even when we exercise.
Some antioxidants are produced by the body, while others are not. As we age, the production of antioxidants slows down, making a stronger case for eating antioxidant-rich foods.
Benefits of antioxidants include:
- Reduced cancer risk
- Slowed-down process of ageing
- Benefits for heart health
- Benefits for eye health
- Better immune system
Berries — Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, goji berries, and elderberries are all great sources of antioxidants.
Nuts — Walnuts, pecans, and hazelnuts are excellent sources of antioxidants. Keep in mind that nuts are usually high in calories, so consume only a handful a day.
Artichoke hearts — You may baulk at the idea of eating something that doesn’t look so appealing, but try it before you say no. Not only does it taste great, the benefits are pretty amazing too!
Kidney beans — Everyone’s favourite, turns out the humble rajma has a high level of antioxidants as well. So indulge guilt-free!
Ground cloves — This spice, used freely in most Indian kitchens, is a great way to get your antioxidants on! Other good options are turmeric, cinnamon, oregano, ginger, and garlic.
Prunes and plums — Plums are rich in antioxidants, and their dried versions, prunes, even more so.
Leafy greens — Greens such as spinach and kale are rich in phytochemicals, which help reduce inflammation and eliminate carcinogens.
Pomegranates, cherries, red grapes, and raisins — These fruits are powerhouses of antioxidants. A healthy amount of red wine, made from grapes, can also be a good source.
Green tea — Not for nothing has green tea steadily climbed the ranks. Have with lemon for the best absorption of antioxidants.
Dark chocolate and brewed coffee –Cacao is known as a superfood, and rightly so. Take it in the form of dark chocolate and brewed coffee, things we can easily include in our daily diets.
Other good sources of antioxidants include tomatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, corn, eggplant, and onions.
-By Silky Wadhwa
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