Antioxidants, a word that you hear everywhere. It’s buzzy and catchy. And I’m sure you all know that they are good for your health.
But do you know what are antioxidants?
Antioxidants prevent and stop cells damage. A cell damage occurs as a consequence of oxidation. Oxidants are free radicals that you find in the environment and they are also a natural product of your body.
Oxidants are nor entirely bad; it is just the way your body works.
But a problem can occur if a balance between the oxidants and antioxidants is lost. If the number of oxidants overcomes the anti ones, then your body is becoming vulnerable, and it can cause various health issues like atherosclerosis, cancer, etc.
But don’t let this scare you!
As you can see, it’s always the best to find the golden middle! Keep your diet balanced, and no worries!
Where can you find them?
The best sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables. But they can be found in other, less expected foods and drinks like coffee, tea, wine and chocolate!
They include vitamins such as E, A and C, then some minerals like selenium. Flavonoids are found in chocolate, lycopene in tomatoes and resveratrol in wine.
Those are just some; there are more that 8000 different antioxidants.
How to use them?
As always, the best choice is to consume them from their natural sources. Which means – healthy diet.
The key is a diversity of vegetables and fruits. The recommendation is that everyone should be from 7 to 10 servings of fruits and veggies a day.
On the other hand, there are also supplements. Which are not recommended and their usage can be harmful. So stick to the natural ones that come from food.
Food richest in antioxidants:
This may be unexpected. But beans are very rich in antioxidants.
Small red bean(dried), red kidney bean (dried) and pinto bean are the richest sources. All three species contain approximately 13 of total capacity per half cup.
The wild one is slightly richer than the cultivated one. But it just a small difference.
The wild blueberries contain approximately 13 total amounts of antioxidants per cup, and the cultivated one around 9.
Another berry. Berries, in general, are an excellent source of antioxidants.
The total capacity per serving is around 9 per cup.
Blackberry contains 7.7, raspberry and strawberry around 6 per cup.
Artichokes are also an excellent source. But what contains antioxidants in cooked artichokes are hearts.
Cooked hearts contain approximately 8 of total antioxidant capacity per one cup.
There are many different variations of apples.
For example, one red delicious apple contains around 6 of total antioxidant capacity. Granny Smith includes 5.4.
So add an apple a day! And it will benefit your health.
Note: The capacity of antioxidants does not necessarily reflect the benefits on your health. It all depend on how will your body absorb it and use.
So, every organism is different. Therefore, listen to your body, eat various healthy food and try to maintain a healthy lifestyle!
Check out the infographic, and find out more about foods that are a great source of antioxidants!