Antioxidants boost the immune system and their daily consumption fights potential cardiovascular ailments, besides promoting overall health. Their role is especially very crucial in promoting heart health. Foods that are rich in antioxidants protect the cells in the body against free radical damage, which causes development of various fatal diseases, such as cancer. Many other long term health benefits are also ensured by the presence of antioxidants in the body and as such, it is important to include foods rich in antioxidants in our diet. Read on to get a complete list of the foods, which prove to be a good source of antioxidants.
Foods High In Antioxidants
Berries are high on fiber, minerals, and vitamins and are loaded with healing antioxidants well. Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are a rich source of proanthocyanidins, antioxidants that can play a vital role in preventing cancer and heart diseases. Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries contain ellagic acid, a plant compound that fights carcinogens.
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, have properties that can help prevent cancer and discourage heart diseases. A compound called indole-3-carbinol, an antioxidant that breaks down estrogen in the body, is present in cruciferous vegetables. This helps contain the risk of breast cancer and other estrogen-sensitive cancers, such as cancer of the ovaries and cervix.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is a fairly uncommon member of the carotenoid family. Lycopene is twice as powerful as beta-carotene. Some studies have established that men who eat more tomatoes and tomato sauce have considerably lower rates of prostrate cancer. Lung, colon and breast cancer is also prevented by lycopene, as shown by some studies. Tomatoes also contain the antioxidant glutathione, which boost immune function in the body. Cooked tomatoes are preferred to facilitate the usage of these antioxidants.
Antioxidants called resveratrol and quercetin are found in red grapes, which boost heart health. These antioxidants scavenge on free radicals, reducing platelet aggregation and helping the blood vessels remain open and flexible. Resveratrol can also guard against cancer and decrease the risk of inflammatory diseases, gastric ulcers, stroke and even osteoporosis to some extent.
Garlic is loaded with antioxidants, which can help prevent cancer, heart diseases and signs of aging. Studies have shown that garlic lowers the level of cholesterol, reduces blood pressure, fights free radicals, prevents clotting of blood and thereby, promotes heart health. Its potent anti-fungal properties can also help cure asthma and yeast infections.
Lutein, an antioxidant found in spinach, helps protect your vision. This antioxidant is the main pigment in the region of maximum visual sensitivity, known as macula. Studies have put forward that people who eat spinach are less likely to develop cataracts and macular degeneration, which are the common causes of vision loss. Lutein protects the retina of the eye against sun damage.
Tea contains many antioxidants, which work to prevent a large number of degenerative diseases. Risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and other diseases gets reduced to quite an extent, by consuming green or black tea. Free-radical are found in tea, which fight theaflavins. Green tea with ginger makes for a potent source of antioxidants.