Dec 24, 2009

Benefits of Antioxidants

Antioxidants are dietary substances including some nutrients such as beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium that can prevent the effects of free radical damage in the body. In other words, antioxidants can neutralize the process of oxidation and cellular damage, which contributes to aging and disease. Eating foods high in antioxidant on a regular basis help to reverse the signs of aging. It can also prevent or even reverse various disease processes such as cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Foods rich in antioxidants are:

• Vegetables: red cabbage, spinach, red beet, brussels sprouts

• Fruits: grapefruit, bilberry, pineapple, watermelons, grapes, orange, plum, pomegranate

• Nuts: walnuts, pecans, groundnuts, hazelnuts

• Legumes: soybeans, pinto beans, broad beans

• Dry Fruits: dates, prunes, apricots

• Spices: cinnamon, cloves, cayenne pepper

• Meat Food Sources: Chicken, lamb, salmon, turkey, crabmeat

Some of the most common and easily obtainable foods rich in antioxidants are:

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants and help to boost immune function. The red color of tomato is due to lycopene, a powerful infection fighting antioxidant.

Broccoli: This green leafy vegetable is rich in phytonutrient antioxidants that give long-term protection against a number of diseases. Broccoli is indeed the best choice when it comes to selecting oxidant rich foods. Overcooking of broccoli should be avoided as it destroys the essential nutrients.

Garlic: Garlic, a rich source of antioxidants, has plenty of health benefits. The antioxidant properties of garlic can significantly decrease the risk of certain cancers. A diet containing garlic is essential for long healthy living.

Green Tea: Studies have revealed that concentration of antioxidants is highest in green tea. The antioxidants found in green tea decrease high blood pressure, lower high cholesterol levels and fight bacteria causing diseases.

Berries: Berries, especially blueberries and strawberries, are highly rated amongst antioxidant rich foods. These fruits, high in vitamin C, are probably the richest source of antioxidants.