The best way to enhance one’s health is by eating a wide variety of foods rich in vitamins. Here we look at healthy foods rich in antioxidants.
Sometimes it’s challenging to eat healthy due to circumstances such as busy schedules that may lead you to opt for fast foods which are mostly fried. But just as a reminder, your health sorely depends on what you eat. Whether you are super busy or you often eat out, ensure that you are aware of the content of your diet. There are lots of eateries that consider their customers’ wellbeing by preparing a well-balanced diet. Consider eating superfoods since they are packed with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, which minimize cell damage leading to chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. But do you know foods rich in antioxidants? Read along to find out.
Foods Rich in Antioxidants
Red, Purple, and Blue Grapes
Dark-colored grapes are rich in phytochemicals – antioxidants that may lower cancer and heart disease risks. Grapes contain phytochemicals such as proanthocyanidin and anthocyanin, good for your immune system. Grapes are also rich in selenium and vitamin C.
Artichokes are sweet and healthy. They are very common in North America. However, they have quite a long history. People used artichoke leaves to treat liver conditions such as jaundice in ancient days. They are also a great source of minerals, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. According to FRAP analysis, they contain up to 4.7 mmol of antioxidants per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
Artichokes are primarily rich in an antioxidant known as chlorogenic acid. It is believed that this type of antioxidant can reduce the risks of certain cancers, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. The number of antioxidants in artichokes varies depending on the preparation. The content may rise eight times when prepared through boiling, while steaming raises the range 15 times. Frying artichokes reduces the level of antioxidants.
These are some nuts from Mexico and South America rich in minerals and healthy fats. Pecans contain high amounts of antioxidants. Pecans are believed to have up to 10.6 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams. Additionally, pecans help in raising the antioxidants level in the blood. However, though pecans are rich in healthy fats, they are high in calories. Therefore, it’s essential to eat them in moderation to avoid too many calories.
Luckily, chocolate lovers are sorted in this area. Dark chocolate is nutritious since it has more cocos than other chocolate types. It is also rich in minerals and antioxidants. Dark chocolate has about 15 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams, which is more than blueberries and raspberries with 9.2 and 2.3 mmol of antioxidants in similar amounts. The antioxidants found in dark chocolate and cocoa may help reduce inflammation and risk factors of heart disease.
Kales is a cruciferous vegetable and belongs in the same family as broccoli and cauliflower. Being one of the most nutritious green vegetables, kale is rich in vitamins A, C, and K. It is also high in antioxidants since it has up to 2.7 mmol per 100 grams.
However, the red varieties of kale, such as red Russian kale and redbor, have nearly double the number of antioxidants as green kale since it has 4.1 mmol per 100 grams. Red kale has more anthocyanin antioxidants and other antioxidants that enhance its vibrant colors. Kale is also a great source of calcium – a mineral that helps strengthen bones.
Beans come in a wide variety, are inexpensive, and are healthy. They are rich in fiber which helps regulate your bowel. Beans are among the foods that are rich in antioxidants, as green beans contain up to 2 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams. Additionally, a variety of beans, such as pinto beans, has a specific antioxidant called kaempferol. This antioxidant is believed to reduce chronic inflammation and suppress cancer growth.
Spinach is a nutritious leafy vegetable rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. It is also low in calories. Spinach contains up to 0.9 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams. Spinach is also rich in zeaxanthin and lutein. Antioxidants prevent eye damage that may be caused by UV and other harmful lights. Spinach can be found in most greengrocery shops and is inexpensive.
Beets are among the Great Foods Rich in Antioxidants
Also known as beetroot, beets are the roots of a particular vegetable called Beta vulgaris. They have a mild taste and are rich in potassium, folate, fiber, iron, and antioxidants. Beets contain up to 1.7 antioxidants per 100 grams. They are especially rich in antioxidants called betalains. This causes the reddish color in beets that add to their health benefits.
Also known as purple cabbage, red cabbage has quite an impressive nutrient profile. Red cabbage is high in vitamin A, C, and K. It is also high in antioxidants. Red cabbage contains up to 2.2 mmol of antioxidants per 1oo gram, four times more than regular cooked cabbage. Its color is enhanced by anthocyanins- a group of antioxidants in raspberries and strawberries.
Strawberries are among the popular berries on the planet. They are sweet, delicious, and are high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Strawberries contain up to 5.4 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams. As with red cabbage, strawberries contain a specific type of antioxidant called anthocyanins, giving them their vibrant color. Strawberries that contain higher amounts of anthocyanins are brighter in color.
Foods Rich in Antioxidants
Your body is capable of taking antioxidants. However, the antioxidants made internally are not enough hence the need to take as many antioxidants as possible. Antioxidants protect your body from harmful molecules known as free radicals, which can cause chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Fortunately, consuming a diet rich in antioxidants may neutralize free radicals and decrease chronic disease.