Many of us ignore the health benefits of antioxidants. As a result, their deficiency may lead to several unwanted chronic diseases. Have a look at some of the most common foods that are rich sources of antioxidants to help keep these diseases at bay.
With protein ruling the diet chart these days, we often tend to overlook the importance of other essential nutrients, especially antioxidants. Free radicals are produced in our body as a consequence of natural metabolic processes. These radicals, if left unchecked, can lead to oxidative stress and cause massive cellular damage.
Antioxidants inhibit these free radicals, thus playing a vital role in protecting cells from their harmful effects. Therefore, a deficiency of antioxidants may lead to several dreaded chronic diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, etc.
Sounds foreboding, doesn’t it? Worry not! Many common foods have sufficient quantities of antioxidants to keep these undesirable conditions at an arm’s length.
Foods Rich in Antioxidants
Amla (Indian gooseberry) is widely known as one of the best sources of antioxidants. It lowers the blood glucose levels of diabetics and keeps high blood pressure under control.
Now, now. Stop planning trips to all the nearest stores hunting for amlas. Amla is one of the key ingredients of Chyawanprash, which is easily available online across many countries. Having one or two teaspoons of Chyawanprash daily provides adequate amount of Amla required by the body.
Now that’s a pleasant surprise, isn’t it? Dark chocolate contains significant amount of antioxidants that help to lower the risk of heart diseases and regulate blood pressure. You can indulge in this delicious sin without feeling guilty (while watching the calorie count, of course!)
Antioxidants present in blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and goji berries, lower cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. They also show anti-inflammatory properties, helping keep heart healthy and slow down the decline in the brain’s function due to advanced age.
Goji berries contain Lycium barbarum polysaccharide, a distinctive antioxidant which is said to reduce the risk of cancer and possibly delay aging of skin.
Spinach contains many essential antioxidants such as vitamin C and E that enhance the working of the immune system. It has the antioxidant flavonoid which helps to prevent common cough and cold.
Beets are an abundant source of the group of antioxidants called betalains which are responsible for their characteristic red color. Beetroots are known to alleviate pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis.
This delicious tuber contains ample quantities of the antioxidant beta carotene, a rich source of vitamin A. It contributes to keep the skin healthy and also protects it from damage due to UV rays.
Walnuts have almost twice the amount of the antioxidant polyphenol than other nuts such as almonds or peanuts. Studies say, polyphenol can help prevent liver damage induced by chemicals and reduce inflammation.
This wondrous drink not only helps weight loss, but also helps fight against many chronic diseases like cancer owing to its high polyphenol content.
Fruits and vegetables like broccoli, kale, beans, artichokes, tomatoes, grapes, pomegranates, oranges, kiwis, etc., are rich in antioxidants.
Even if antioxidants have all these wonderful health benefits, keep in mind not to gorge yourself on them beyond limit in order to make up for their deficiency. Remember, too much of a good thing can lead to the exact diseases you so desperately want to avoid.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a dietitian or nutritionist.