There has been tremendous talk lately about the power of antioxidants. Ever since it was found that they are vital for human health and for prevention of serious diseases, people have started wondering how they can get as much of them as possible. The truth is that, just like vitamins and minerals, antioxidants are best if taken through natural foods, instead of supplement products. Luckily, the nature has provided a wide array of sources of antioxidants, which are widely available for everyone to benefit from.
Importance of antioxidants
It has been found that many diseases and degenerative processes in the human body come from free radicals. These agents come from toxins and pollution, to which the human race seems to be more and more exposed. Antioxidants are here to stop free radicals from making abnormal changes on cell level, thus preventing many dangerous diseases, including cancer.
Today, increased intake of antioxidant foods is recommended to patients suffering from diseases and conditions from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s to stroke, heart disease, immune problems and cancer.
Most foods that are rich in antioxidants fall into category of fruits and vegetables. The USDA has performed analysis of over 100 plant-based foods and it came up with a list of the ones that are the best sources of antioxidants. Some of the foods that made it to the top of the list include beans like small red beans, red kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, pecans, Granny Smith apples, Red Delicious apples, blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, artichokes, cherries, plums, prunes and russet potatoes.
Dried fruit is particularly convenient as it travels well, comes in handy packages and it is available all year round. Good antioxidant dry fruits include dried pears, plums, raisins, peaches, dates and apricots.
Green vegetables, like broccoli, kale, collard greens and spinach are also considered great sources of antioxidants.
Certain herbs and spices should be considered too. The best ones when it comes to antioxidants are parsley, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, oregano, basil, thyme, sage, pepper, cardamom, coriander and peppermint.
There are also many beverages that are considered to me amazing sources of antioxidants. This applies to any freshly squeezed fruit juice, like orange, apple, cabbage, beetroot, carrot, pomegranate, tomato and grapefruit juice.
Everybody knows that green tea is one of the best sources of antioxidants out there, but black tea and plain tea are great too. Even coffee has amazing antioxidant properties, as long as it is consumed in moderation. However, it should be noted that adding milk to coffee or tea blocks antioxidants.
As for alcoholic beverages, one small glass of red wine or beer a day provides a significant amount of antioxidants, but anything more than one glass simply has the negative effect.