Antioxidants exist to protect our bodies from cellular damage. Although antioxidants are naturally produced by healthy bodies, many of us don’t have the proper nutrition to take full advantage of their aging and disease-fighting benefits.
The good news is that adopting a diet rich in antioxidants can help reverse radical damage, in turn boosting antioxidant levels in the blood, and reducing the overall risk of developing several chronic diseases (i.e., inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type II diabetes). The following foods pack a powerful antioxidant punch:
- Green tea
This potent brew offers pro-anthocyanin and anthocyanin, which are both powerful antioxidants and inflammation fighters, in the same cup. But green tea goes one step further with a hearty sip of antioxidants known as catechin epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which are credited with pro-actively warding off cancer.
- Fatty fish
They call it brain food for a good reason! Fatty cuts of fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, rainbow trout, and herring are packed with brain powering omega-3 fatty acids. In fact studies continually show that noshing on fish two to three times per week helps lower inflammation and risk of inflammatory disease (i.e., inflammatory bowel disease and coronary artery disease).
Do you know what gives the beet its distinctive dark red color? It’s all thanks to a specific group of antioxidants, known as betalains, which help lower inflammation. In fact, aside from already being an excellent source of iron, fiber, potassium, and folate, the betalain antioxidants in beets have been linked to easing osteoarthritis pain and reducing the risk of colon, rectal, anal, stomach, pancreatic, small and large intestinal, and esophageal cancers.
When it comes to antioxidant rich foods, artichokes are the best! Not only are these deletable salad and sandwich toppers rich in chlorogenic acid, biologists from Brawijaya University, Malang in Indonesia credit this inflammatory-fighting antioxidant for warding off all sorts of health conditions—from jaundice to heart disease to type 2 diabetes as well as breast, endometrial, renal, lung colon, and prostate cancers. Keep in mind a 3.5 ounce serving of artichokes contains an impressive 4.7 millimoles per litre of antioxidant prowess.
Beans, beans are full of antioxidants. In fact a single serving of soybeans, lentils, black beans, navy beans, and kidney beans offers up an impressive array of zinc, protein, calcium, selenium, folate, and vitamin C too boot.