There are many quality sources of antioxidants available at a realistic price so there is really no reason why anyone should not be able to include them in their diet and enjoy the antioxidant benefits available from them
Antioxidants are compounds found either in the food we eat or they are produced by our bodies as required. One of the major elements our bodies use is oxygen this enables us to function, but as a result of this our cells produce what is known as free radicals. Our body is able to use some of these, but the majority of them can cause disruption around our bodies because they are unstable. Antioxidants are able to neutralize them, rendering them harmless which is the reason why they are so important.
These five sources of high quality natural antioxidants are a must for all people who wish to remain healthy, supplements just do not make the grade.
1. Berries, Plums, Cherries and Gapes
All types of berries including plums, cherries and grapes are high in phytochemicals, these powerful antioxidants help protect us from cancers and heart disease. They lower inflammation and protect our cells while boosting the immune system.
Nature has colour coded our foods so we can quickly find foods that are high in antioxidants by their bright and colourful skins and flesh. The darker varieties of these fruits have the highest percentages.
Being one of the most balanced foods available, nuts are high in most essential nutrients as well as being loaded with healthy fats they contain protein, complex carbohydrates and their own special antioxidants such as resveratrol and different plant sterols.
3. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
This group of foods that includes spinach, kale, collard greens, broccoli, cabbage, leeks and lettuces are high in disease fighting nutrients and a huge range of antioxidants like kaempferol that helps to dilate blood vessels and antioxidant minerals copper, zinc, vitamins A, C and E.
4. Orange, Yellow and Red Fruit and Vegetables
Sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkin, carrots, beetroot, capsicum, tomatoes, pomegranates, watermelon, papaya, pineapple are all good sources of essential nutrients such as enzymes, vitamins, minerals and they and also contain antioxidants that help protect our bodies from free radicals an environmental pollutants.
5. Beverages like Chocolate, Tea and Coffee
Real chocolate that has not been overheated, real brewed coffee, both black and green teas as well as a variety of herb teas are one of the best and simplest sources of Antioxidants. Avoid commercially prepared and processed beverages like instant coffee and iced teas as the antioxidant content is greatly reduced.
Having a diet that consists of the widest range of fresh fruits and vegetable will help protect your body from illness and environmental pollutants. Each plant has its own unique antioxidants that have a specific job in nature and unfortunately, they tend not to be interchangeable which is why consuming a wide variety is recommended.
Nature has provided many natural medicines for us to enjoy and they are often colour coded so they are easy to find. The brighter and darker the colour of food, the higher their antioxidant content. The reward for seeking out these foods is not only good health but also their flavor.