Foods high in antioxidants: What are foods rich in antioxidants? They protect against diseases, boost the immune system, and make our skin glow.
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Antioxidants offer protection against so-called free radicals. The body itself forms these free radicals during various metabolic processes, on the one hand, and by harmful external influences such as cigarette smoke, environmental toxins, or UV radiation from the sun on the other.
If there are too many several free radicals in our body, so-called oxidative stress occurs. It is said to contribute to diseases such as arteriosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and cancer, and also causes the skin to age faster.
Oxidation can be observed, for example, in cut apples – they turn brown. Anyone who sprinkles apple slices with lemon juice can see that the antioxidant vitamin C prevents this oxidation; they retain their natural color.
As a rule, our body has a well-functioning protective system to keep free radicals in check. Antioxidants usually do not act in isolation but interact with other antioxidants. Individual vitamins B2, vitamin C and E, and the minerals selenium, zinc are part of this system.
Depending on their origin, antioxidants can be getting divided into:
- Enzymes, hormones, and metabolic products formed in the body
- Externally supplied food such as vegetables, fruit, and nuts
Antioxidants from food include vitamins C and E, selenium, or secondary plant compounds such as beta-carotene, resveratrol, flavonoids, lycopene in tomatoes, zeaxanthin in spinach, peppers, and allicin in garlic. It is why it is so important to include plenty of plant-based foods in the diet.
In simple terms, free radicals are substances that have the potential, for example, to attack body cells and promote the formation of tumors. Antioxidants can convert these free radicals into a non-damaging structure to a certain extent, helping to protect cells from oxidative stress. Antioxidants are thus a kind of protective shield for the body.
Foods high in antioxidants
The more colorful, the better: Antioxidants are mostly getting found in brightly colored fruit and vegetables.
But spices and herbs also contain antioxidants: cumin, cinnamon, basil, turmeric, ginger, and thyme should be on our plates more often.
List of foods high in antioxidants:
- Whole grain products
- Olive oil
- Wheat germ oil
- Rapeseed oil
- Oat flakes
- Wholemeal products
- Sunflower seeds
- Citrus fruits
- Sea buckthorns
- Sunflower seeds
- Cashew nuts
- Sea Fish
- Brazil nut
- Wheat bran
- Pumpkin seeds
- Cashew nuts
- Yeast flakes
- Poppy seeds
- Dark Berries
Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPC):
- Fruit peels
- Grape seeds
- Red berries
- Savoy cabbage
- Red peppers
- Arugula (Rocket Salad)
- Sweet potato
- Fish (pink colored ones)
- Brussels sprouts
Food with high antioxidants
They are radical scavengers, which have various positive effects on health. Free radicals can promote many complaints as they attack the cells. Cell damage can even lead to degeneration so that cancer can develop. Antioxidants are supposed to protect the cells from harmful free radicals. If too many are getting produced, but there are not enough antioxidants to break them down, oxidative stress develops, which promotes several diseases. The following guide tells you which foods contain the most antioxidants.
Avocado: At 30 percent, avocado has the highest fat content of all vegetables and fruits. Nevertheless, it is profoundly getting recommended because most of it is healthy, polyunsaturated fatty acids. The avocado also supplies B and E vitamins as well as hematopoietic iron and has an antioxidant effect.
Blueberries: They contain lots of polyphenols (anthocyanins and flavonoids). In fruit, these are responsible for the color but also for the flavor and are also radical scavengers antioxidants. They have an anti-inflammatory, cell-protective, and possibly preventive effect on the development of cancer. The berries are also rich in vitamins C, E, and A, which are suitable for the skin cells and can prevent vascular calcification.
Millet: The small grains are bursting with iron, magnesium, and silicon – this strengthens skin, hair, and nails.
Tomatoes: Vegetables are rich in plant pigments, the carotenoids. The redder the tomato, the more vibrant it’s content of lycopene, which is a particularly potent antioxidant that can prevent cancer.
Kale: It is rich in vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system. Kale also supplies the body with vitamin E, which is good for the skin and eyes, and with the anti-aging vitamin A. But that’s not all: Kale has minerals such as calcium, iron and potassium, and many secondary plant compounds, including quercetin, an antihistamine, and antioxidant.
Coffee: The caffeinated drink naturally contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants. Coffee is not only delicious but also good for the body. Polyphenols also have an anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventing effect.
Broccoli: The green vegetable has several health benefits. Broccoli contains folic acid, iron, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and beta-carotene, which is good for the eyes. Studies have also shown that the sulforaphane it contains is a natural weapon against cancer. Important: The ingredients are susceptible, so you should only steam, stew, or eat broccoli raw.
Nuts: Nuts are particularly rich in vitamin E, which is one of the most potent antioxidants. A handful of nuts a day, for example, in muesli or sprinkled over a salad, reduces oxidative stress in the body. Oils extracted from nuts, such as walnut oil or linseed oil, also have a positive effect.
Corn: The sprouts contain a lot of vitamin E, which is also one of the antioxidants. A few years ago, a US study even concluded that popcorn contains more antioxidants than many fruits and vegetables.
Stinging nettle: They are rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K. Wild nettle provides seven times more vitamin C than oranges. Nettle has a draining effect and flushes toxins from the body. Due to iron and the green plant substance chlorophyll, nettle leaves are blood-forming and purifying.
Red wine: The grapes from which the wine is getting made contain polyphenols, which are essential radical scavengers. Various studies have already been able to prove that red wine prevents cancer. Besides, the antioxidant fisetin is getting found in grapes, which is said to strengthen the long-term memory. But beware: the positive effect on the body is only valid with moderate consumption.
Apple: In and under the skin of the apple, there is plenty of vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system and holds you fit. Apples also contain more than 30 trace elements and minerals (potassium).
Carrots: Carrots contain a lot of beta-carotene (provitamin A), which is a member of the carotenoid family. The body can transform beta-carotene into vitamin A. Beta-carotene has a strong antioxidant effect.
Onions: Onions and also garlic belong to the Allium family, which contains an unusually high amount of flavonoids and antioxidants. Many studies have revealed that regular consumption of onions can reduce the risk of cancer and protect against heart attacks.
Citrus fruits: They are rich in vitamin C and so-called flavonoids, which are secondary plant substances. Juices are also getting recommended, but it is essential to remember that the fresher the liquid, the higher the vitamin content – and the antioxidant effect.
Red and purple grapes: Besides valuable vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and selenium, grapes contain polyphenols. These important radical scavengers are said to prevent cancer and heart disease. Grapes also contain the antioxidant fisetin, which is supposed to strengthen the long-term memory. Dark grapes (purple or red) have higher concentrations of secondary plant substances than green grapes.
Potatoes: Besides their content of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, potatoes are rich in phenols and polyphenols, which have an antioxidant effect.
Strawberries: Red berries are getting packed with valuable ingredients or antioxidants, such as strawberries. They contain a lot of vitamin C, A, and E, minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and calcium, as well as the secondary plant substances polyphenols and ellagic acid. They are said to protect against cardiovascular diseases and environmental carcinogens. A bowl of berries a day provides the recommended amount of antioxidants, which should help to prevent infection. Thanks to the rich fiber content, digestion is also promoted. Pregnant women benefit from high folic acid content.
Antioxidants in food are essential.
If free radicals are clearly in the majority, they can cause significant damage to our bodies. The following overview shows which damage can occur and how it manifests itself.
If there is an impairment of the vascular structure in the eyes, vision begins to deteriorate, and degeneration symptoms occur.
It becomes particularly dangerous when free radicals attack the cells of the DNA. If the cells degenerate, the immune defense system must intervene and render the cell harmless, if possible, before it multiplies and a tumor develops.
Dementia and stroke
If the nerve cells in the brain are getting attacked, concentration disorders and forgetfulness up to dementia occur. Profound damage to the vessels in the brain can trigger a stroke.
Arthritis and other joint problems can also be getting caused by oxidative stress. If the collagen in the cartilage tissue is getting attacked, the joints suffer.
Free radicals can damage the skin. The skin looks wrinkled and gray and has lost all elasticity.
As this makes clear, there are hardly any symptoms that cannot be getting linked to the damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants in food are therefore of extraordinary importance for general health.
What do antioxidants do?
Antioxidants take over many essential functions in our body and above all serve the cell protection from which our entire health benefits. Antioxidants are naturally present in many foods and help intercept and neutralize free radicals.
How many antioxidants per day?
A healthy diet with much of vegetables and fruit that provide natural antioxidants provides the body typically with sufficient radical scavengers. It is getting recommended that we should consume around 650 grams of these every day.
Which vitamins belong to the antioxidants?
The vitamins A, C, and E, as well as beta-carotene, are called antioxidants, the latter being a precursor of vitamin A. Antioxidant vitamins intercept aggressive oxygen radicals that may be getting produced during metabolic processes in the body.
What are antioxidants, and why are they so crucial for our body?
Vitamins, minerals, and secondary plant compounds - all these food components are also antioxidants. They protect the body from the so-called free radicals, so they are radical scavengers.
How healthy are antioxidants?
Antioxidants in food - The best-known antioxidants include vitamins C and E, carotenoids (beta-carotene, the precursor of vitamin A), the trace elements selenium, and zinc as well as various secondary plant substances such as sulfides, phytoestrogens, and polyphenols.
What is the best high antioxidant?
Astaxanthin, the dye that gives salmon its pink color, is considered the world's most potent antioxidant. It is said to be more than 60 times more potent than vitamin C, and the antioxidant properties of vitamin E are said to be 500 times higher.
Does red wine have antioxidants?
The antioxidant resveratrol in red wine can inhibit inflammatory proteins. The reason is the antioxidant resveratrol in red wine, which inhibits two essential inflammatory proteins.
Which vitamins protect against free radicals?
If sufficient antioxidants are present in the cells, free radicals are getting fended off. In addition to some vitamins, such as vitamins C and E, the trace element selenium and some secondary plant substances are among the free radical scavengers.
Which vitamins are radical scavengers?
A sensibly composed diet helps to reduce oxidative stress and thus harmful effects on the body's cells. Antioxidants include some vitamins, especially vitamins A, C, E, and the provitamin beta-carotene.
Why are free radicals dangerous?
In small quantities, free radicals are not dangerous and can be getting fought by the body alone. Free radicals become hazardous for the skin when they occur in large numbers. Free radicals can even react with the DNA of the skin cells, damage the connective tissue, and promote skin aging.
Are antioxidants sensitive to heat?
Many antioxidants are sensitive to heat: fresh, unheated vegetables and fruit should be on the menu every day. Extended storage and light also reduce the content of various antioxidants. If plants are getting left in water for a long time, water-soluble radical scavengers such as vitamin C are getting washed out.
Don’t Forget: Too many antioxidants can also be harmful.
Antioxidants fulfill essential functions in the body – but the same applies to their opponents, the so-called oxidants. These include, for example, the substance hydrogen peroxide, which serves to dilate the blood vessels and facilitate blood flow.
If you now neutralize hydrogen peroxide and other natural vasodilating substances by absorbing more significant amounts of antioxidants, you may weaken the transport of oxygen to the muscles.
Therefore, an additional administration of antioxidant vitamins through artificially enriched foods or vitamin pills makes no sense in most cases and could even be counterproductive.
Many products available in supermarkets are additionally getting enriched with vitamins, such as fruit juices, yogurts, or plant drinks. However, this does not automatically make them foods that make sense for a healthy diet. It is better to prefer foods containing vitamin C naturally.
Feel free to share this article with someone who has an interest in antioxidants, healthy living, a healthy lifestyle, and likes to care for his body.
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