The compounds that might help delay or even prevent cell damage in the body are called antioxidants. We can consume them in large amounts, this way defending ourselves from oxidative stress aka the imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants.
Why is it important to fight oxidative stress and how can we do it? Oxidative stress increases the risk of developing cancer and heart disease, among many other chronic illnesses. Fortunately, there’s a list of healthy foods one can eat to boost the antioxidants in their diet. The following foods help promote heart and eye health, and protect you from illnesses associated with harmful free radicals.
It isn’t a coincidence that goji berries have been part of traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. The dried fruits contain unique antioxidants knows as lyceum barbarum polysaccharides which reduce the risk of having a heart disease and cancer. Also, they are linked to combatting skin aging.
One of the richest sources of antioxidants, artichoke has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries. Allegedly, it lowers blood sugar levels and improves digestion, as well as heart and liver health. What is more, artichokes are packed with powerful nutrients.
Good quality dark chocolate has magical powers when it comes to health, thanks to its high levels of nutrients and antioxidants. Studies prove that dark chocolate can be linked to a range of potential health benefits including the reduction of inflammation, promotion of good cholesterol, and a lower risk of having a heart disease.
Raw strawberries make a great snack: not only are they juicy and delicious, but also healthy. The heart -shaped, sodium, fat and cholesterol-free fruits are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Strawberries are also a good source of manganese and potassium.
Inexpensive and healthy, beans are high-octane sources of antioxidants. They contain the antioxidant kaempferol, a natural flavonol which has been linked to anticancer benefits according to test-tube study results. Actually, it is currently under consideration as a possible cancer treatment.
Native to Mexico and South America, pecans are rich in healthy fats and minerals, plus they contain a high amount of antioxidants. This type of nut can help raise antioxidant levels significantly in the blood. In case you are trying to lose weight, eat them in moderation, because they are high in calories!
Popeye the sailor man’s favourite vegetable, spinach is very healthy. It is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, as well as a good source of antioxidant lutein that may promote eye health. The best is to consume it chopped and uncooked, because otherwise it could lose as much as 50% of its lutein only after few minutes of steaming.
Sweet, nutritious and wildly popular blueberries are labelled as a superfood for a list of reasons. The tiny blue fruits are among the most nutrient-dense berries, and one of their superpowers is to help reduce DNA damage which is believed to help protect against aging and cancer.
Rich in vitamins C, K and A, red cabbage is a great source of antioxidants. It also contains anthocyanins and vitamin C; the latter acts as an antioxidant, helps strengthen the immune system, and keeps the skin firm. Fun fact: while steaming red cabbage affects its antioxidant content negatively, boiling and stir-frying may increase its beneficial effect.