5 Foods That Are High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are crucial to our bodies functioning properly. When oxygen molecules travel freely throughout the body, they cause the formation of free-radicals. An excess number of free-radicals can cause oxidation of the cells which leads to intense cell damage, displayed as signs of aging in the skin and other organs. Luckily, antioxidants neutralize free-radicals in the body, ensuring there is a balanced amount. It is also advisable to take natural antioxidant supplements to make sure you are getting enough antioxidants to prevent cell damage, it’s crucial to eat foods high in them
There are numerous benefits to including lots of leafy greens in your diet. They’re rich in vitamins E, C, K, and A, fiber, iron, and antioxidants. Carotenoids are a type of antioxidant found in leafy greens that protect our bodies from the beginning stages of cancer, and in general, they protect our cells from damage. You should aim to consume 2-3 servings of leafy greens per day to obtain the cancer-preventing benefits.
When eaten in moderation, dark chocolate has numerous benefits for the body. High in the antioxidants flavanol and polyphenol(1), cocoa can support blood vessel health and help regulate blood pressure levels. However, it is important to ensure the chocolate you consume is 70% cocoa or higher. The presence of excessive milk in chocolate (milk or white chocolate) can prevent the full absorption of anti-oxidants into the body.
Tomatoes are extremely high in antioxidants and therefore are an excellent source of health for the body. They contain lycopene, carotenoids, flavanols, and many more antioxidants. Including tomatoes in your diet can benefit your cardiovascular health, act as an anti-inflammatory, and even help heal your skin after UV exposure. A healthy intake of tomatoes per day is 1/3 cup, which can be in the form of raw tomatoes, tomato sauce with olive oil, or cherry tomatoes.
Eggplants have long been known as a healthy source of fiber and B vitamins. However, the presence of antioxidants found in the vegetable reaches even further. Eggplants contain an antioxidant called nasunin, found in the skin of the eggplant. It’s beneficial to protecting the lipids in brain cell membranes critical to brain health. Additionally, eggplant has anti-cancer properties that also lower cholesterol and protect cells from bacterial infections.
Sesame seeds are an excellent source of a variety of antioxidants, namely one called lignan. Lignans are hugely beneficial in reducing cholesterol levels and balancing blood pressure. Sesame seeds are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties which have proven useful in preventing and halting the growth of cancer in the body. Luckily, sesame seeds can be cooked in a variety of ways and added to almost any meal to increase antioxidant intake.
Antioxidants are necessary to our bodies’ cell structure and overall health. Although we do naturally produce them, it’s important to also seek out foods that are high in antioxidants to combat the free-radicals out body also produces. Since there are so many foods that contain multiple antioxidants, it’s relatively easy to increase their presence in the body through our diet.
Article references: (1)https://www.livestrong.com/article/479645-polyphenols-vs-flavonoids/