We’ve all heard it. Foods with antioxidants are vital for our good health. But how true is this claim?
Let us first differentiate free radicals and oxidation.
Oxidation is a chemical reaction. This happens when your cells convert oxygen into energy. In the process of oxidation, free radicals are created.
Free radicals are molecules that disrupt other molecules by stealing their electrons. This causes the other molecules to have an unnatural structure. When a great number of molecules have been altered, the affected cells’ ability to function is compromised.
This is where antioxidants come in.
Function And Meaning Of Antioxidants
Antioxidants prevent free radical damage by donating their own electrons. After giving away their own electrons, their structure continues to be stable.
Antioxidants Food Benefits
Antioxidants can successfully stop a chain of harmful chemical reactions that will otherwise put your body at a great risk. Antioxidants benefits are quite plenty, including but not limited to:
Research has shown that antioxidants are advantageous for the human body in many different ways. Generally, having a diet composed of antioxidants’ rich-foods will prove to be beneficial for a person’s health.
List of Antioxidants-Rich Foods
While it is true that fruits and vegetables are an amazing source of antioxidants, you should still add other kinds of food to your antioxidant-rich diet. Eat more nuts, dark chocolate, tea and a number of spices for their antioxidant-rich properties.
Without further ado, here is the list of some of the foods that you must be eating if you want to reap the benefits of an antioxidant-rich diet.
Antioxidants in fruits are common, but prunes are outstanding. Just a half cup of of this dried fruit is equal to 7,291 antioxidants.
Regular consumption of prunes will result to:
- Better eye health
- Reduced risk of developing cancer
- Regular nervous system function
- Finer hair
- Proper digestion
The various health benefits of prunes can also be obtained from prune juice.
1 cup of farm blueberries will give you 9,019 antioxidants. On the other hand, the wild variety gives 13,427 total antioxidants (1 cup).
Blueberries taste great, but their nutrients are even more impressive. They increase your body’s immunity against numerous diseases such as fevers. Regular consumption of these small delights can also prevent constipation. Additionally, they are rich in calcium which shall boost your bone structure strength. Finally, there are studies which support the notion that eating blueberries on a regular basis can enhance brain memory.
3. Black Plums
A single serving of black plums provides 4,873 antioxidants.
Eating black plums on a regular basis will lead to:
- Less problems with digestion
- Improved heart health
- Lower diabetes risk
- Better brain memory
- Stronger bones
Black plums, aside from being a healthy and mouth-watering treat, also contain approximately 80 nutrients and have zero saturated fats.
1 ounce of pecans will give you 5,095 total antioxidants.
As a snack, pecans are really nice. As a source of health benefits, they are superb. To start with, they contain zinc. This mineral helps the immune system to work properly. Second, thanks to the vitamin E found in pecans, they can reduce the risk of dementia. Further, the flavonoids present in this tree nut can help fight chronic diseases from developing. Lastly, regular consumption of pecans can battle high cholesterol. This feature makes it very valuable for maintaining a healthy heart.
Just like a Black Forest cake won’t be complete without a cherry on top, an antioxidant-rich diet should include cherries. 1 cup of fresh cherries serves a total of 4,873 antioxidants.
Cherries do not upset insulin levels which makes them ideal for managing diabetes. In addition, they are rich in melatonin which regularizes our body’s sleeping patterns. Another known advantage of cherry consumption is joint pain relief. What’s more, this delicious fruit can help reduce cholesterol levels. And with every cherry that you consume, you minimize your stroke risk.