Antioxidants are compounds our bodies produce as well as found in many foods. They help protect cells in the body from damage by harmful molecules called free radicals.
An Overview Of Antioxidants
As free radicals build up, they result in oxidative stress. This can damage DNA and the body cells.
In addition, serious oxidative stress can enhance the risk of some serious health issues like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
However, to combat oxidative stress and reduce your risk of these diseases, eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help your body increase the amount of antioxidants in your blood.
To measure the antioxidant content of foods, scientists use several tests. The FRAP (plasma reduction capacity) analysis is considered to be one of the best tests. This test helps measure the antioxidant content of foods by how well they can neutralize a particular free radical.
The more antioxidants a food contains, the higher the FRAP value.
Here Are The Top Healthy Foods High In Antioxidants
Dark chocolate is a good choice for chocolate lovers because of its high nutritional value. Dark chocolate contains more cocoa than regular chocolate and also contains more minerals and antioxidants.
According to the FRAP analysis, each 3.5 oz (100 g) of dark chocolate contains up to 15 millimoles of antioxidants. This figure is even higher than blueberries and raspberries, which contain 9.2 millimoles and 2.3 millimoles of antioxidants respectively.
Furthermore, the antioxidants in cocoa and dark chocolate have many other health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and lowering risk factors for heart disease.
The review was based on the results of 10 studies examining the relationship between cocoa intake and blood pressure in healthy people and people with high blood pressure. It was found that consumption of cocoa-rich products such as dark chocolate reduced systolic blood pressure (upper limit) by an average of 4.5 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (lower limit) by an average of 2.5 mmHg.
Several other studies have shown that dark chocolate consumption lowers the risk of heart disease by increasing levels of antioxidants in the blood, raising levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol and preventing the breakdown of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol.
It may increase the risk of heart disease because it promotes the harmful oxidation of LDL cholesterol in blood vessels.
Blueberries are packed with nutrients and antioxidants, but they’re low in calories. According to a FRAP analysis, every 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of blueberries contains up to 9.2 mmol of antioxidants.
Some studies even show that, of all the commonly consumed fruits and vegetables, blueberries contain the highest amount of antioxidants .
In addition, the obtained results from studies performed in test-tube and animal studies have shown that the decline in brain function that to occur with age can be delayed in blueberries.
According to some experts, the antioxidants in blueberries are responsible for this effect. These substances are thought to do this by neutralizing harmful free radicals, reducing inflammation, and altering the expression of certain genes.
In addition, blueberries contain a special antioxidant that has been shown to reduce risk factors for heart disease, LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure , called anthocyanins.
Lots of people love strawberries . They are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants.
Based on FRAP analysis, every 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of strawberries provides up to 5.4 mmol of antioxidants.
Furthermore, there is a class of antioxidants called anthocyanins present in strawberries, which give them their red color. Strawberries will have a brighter red color if they are high in anthocyanins. Research has shown that, by lowering levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and increasing “good” HDL cholesterol, anthocyanins can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
A review of 10 studies found that anthocyanin supplementation significantly reduced LDL cholesterol in people with heart disease or high LDL levels.
Goji berries are a dried fruit of two related plants, Lycium barbarum and Lycium Chinese. They have been considered a part of traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years.
Because Goji berries are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, they are often marketed as a superfood. Based on FRAP analysis, every 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of goji berries contains 4.3 mmol of antioxidants.
In addition, goji berries contain a unique antioxidant known as the polysaccharides Lycium barbarum. Besides being beneficial in reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer, these substances also aid in anti-aging skin . Moreover, in raising the level of antioxidants in the blood, goji berries also bring certain effects.
In several studies done with healthy elderly people consuming a milk-based goji berry drink every day for 90 days. Their blood antioxidant levels increased by 57% when tested at the end of the study.
Goji berries are very nutritious but also quite expensive when eaten regularly. Furthermore, currently only a handful of studies on the effects of goji berries in humans have been performed. While these support our health benefits, more human-based research is still needed.
Raspberries are a fruit commonly used in desserts. They have a sour, soft taste. They are an excellent food source rich in fiber, vitamin C, manganese , and antioxidants.
Based on FRAP analysis, every 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of raspberries has up to 4 mmol of antioxidants. According to experts, raspberries contain antioxidants and other components that help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
One test-tube study found that 90% of stomach, colon and breast cancer cells in a sample were killed by antioxidants and other components found in raspberries.
A review based on the results of five studies concluded that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of blackberries may slow and block the effects of many types of cancer.
What’s more, the antioxidants in raspberries, especially anthocyanins, may help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, and help reduce the risk of heart disease.
However, most of the evidence for raspberries’ health benefits comes from test-tube studies. Before making further recommendations, more human studies are needed.
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable and is grown from the species Brassica oleracea. Other vegetables include broccoli and cauliflower. Kale is considered the most nutritious green vegetable on the planet and is rich in vitamins A, K and C. It is also an antioxidant-rich food, each 3.5 ounces (100 grams) provides up to 2, 7 mmol.
However, per 100 grams of red kale varieties such as red kale and red Russian kale can contain almost twice as much – up to 4.1 mmol of antioxidants. The red varieties of kale contain more anthocyanin antioxidants as well as several other antioxidants that give them their vibrant color.
Kale is also an excellent plant-based source of calcium, an important mineral that helps maintain bone health and plays a role in other cellular functions.
Beans are a diverse group of legumes and are very healthy. They are a high-fiber food, which can help you have regular bowel movements.
Beans are also considered a food high in antioxidants. A FRAP analysis found that chickpeas contain up to 2 mmol of antioxidants per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
In addition, a particular antioxidant called kaempferol is present in some beans, such as pinto beans. This antioxidant offers certain health benefits, such as reducing chronic inflammation and stopping cancer growth.
Several animal studies have found that the growth of cancer in the breast, bladder, kidney, and lung can be prevented by kaempferol. However, because most of the studies supporting the benefits of kaempferol have been in animals or test tubes, more human-based studies are needed.
Beetroot, also known as beetroot, is the root of a vegetable scientifically known as Beta vulgaris. They are a great source of fiber, potassium, iron, folate and antioxidants.
Based on FRAP analysis, every 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of beets contains up to 1.7 mmol of antioxidants.
Beets are foods that contain a group of antioxidants called betalains. These substances give beets their red color and have been linked to health benefits. For example, several test-tube studies have linked betalain to a reduced risk of cancer in the colon and gastrointestinal tract. In addition, other compounds that can help reduce inflammation are also found in beets. For example, one study found that taking betalain capsules made with beetroot extract significantly reduced osteoarthritis pain and inflammation.
Spinach is one of the vegetables rich in nutritional value. There are many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and extremely few calories in spinach. Based on FRAP analysis, every 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of spinach provides up to 0.9 mmol of antioxidants.
Spinach is also a rich source of lutein and zeaxanthin. Two antioxidants can help protect your eyes from the damage of UV rays as well as other harmful wavelengths of light. These antioxidants help fight the damage that free radicals can cause over time to the eyes.
Purple, Red And Green Grapes
Grapes, especially dark colored ones, are loaded with phytochemicals, antioxidants that may help protect against cancer and heart disease. Two of those phytochemicals, anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, are especially good for your immune system. Grapes are also rich in vitamin c and selenium.
With a sip of tea, you’ll get two powerful phytochemicals – anthocyanins and pro anthocyanin’s. These antioxidants that help get rid of inflammation. By adding the catechins, antioxidants helps to prevent cell damage that can results in cancer later on.
In particular, green tea contains several health benefiting phytochemicals. In particular, green tea contains a lot of Catechin epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This is a powerful antioxidant.
If you are caffeine sensitive, look for other alternatives.
Antioxidants can be made naturally by the body. You can also get these from food. Antioxidants protect your body from potentially harmful molecules called free radicals, which can build up and promote oxidative stress. Oxidative deficiency increases the chances of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and many other chronic diseases.
Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help neutralize free radicals and reduce the risk of these chronic diseases.
By eating a variety of antioxidant-rich foods, you can boost antioxidant levels in your blood and provide many other health benefits.
Antioxidants are compounds made in your body and found in many foods. They help protect cells in the body from damage caused by potentially harmful molecules called free radicals.