We’ve all heard it before, antioxidants are good for you, but what are they and what can we eat to get more of them?
There are lots of molecular compounds floating through your bloodstream. We call them free radicals that can harm your body tissues and are linked to several illnesses including diabetes and cancer.
We call them free radicals because they’re partilces finding other molecules to bond with, and they can be harmful if adhered to any random cell in your body. Antioxidants get attached to free radicals neutralizing the threat.
A lot of food is high in antioxidant properties, but these are our favorites.
1. Berries, sweet small fruits that are great for you.
Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and cranberries are not only sweet- and tangy-delicious, but they also have lots of antioxidants in the form of anthocyanins, the compound that gives the small fruit its bluish and red colors.
Berries are also good sources for vitamin C, another natural antioxidant, and they help your brain and nerve system work better.
Enjoy them fresh as a healthy snack, add them to desserts or bake with them, but try to eat them as often as you can.
2. Kale, the trendy super green
The leafy green everyone’s talking about. Kale is the 20th-century superfood and for good reasons. Kale has more vitamin K (good for your blood) and vitamin A (for cell growth and good for your eyes) than most other foods by volume.
Kale is an antioxidant bomb too; it’s filled with vitamin C and beta-carotene, one of the most potent antioxidants around. In salads, kale is quite tasty, but you’ll find everything, from pizzas topped with the green leaves to kale soup. So, dig in!
The earthy purplish vegetable is good for your gut, it can help you regulate your blood pressure, and you guessed it, it’s insanely high in antioxidants.
Roast them, stir-fry them with other veggies, smash them into a puree or mix them with hummus, there are infinite ways of adding beets to your diet.
You’ll end up feeling great because the starchy, slightly sweet vegetable is as good for you as it’s enjoyable. There’s a bonus; beets are low in calories, so you can enjoy them guilt-free.
All nuts are healthy; they’re loaded with healthful unsaturated fats that boost the good LDL cholesterol and lower the bad HDL cholesterol in your bloodstream.
Nuts are fabulous plant-based protein sources and have many antioxidants. Pecans have the highest concentration of the gritty compounds that keep free radicals at bay, so if you have to choose between almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, or any other nut, go pecan.
5. Dark Chocolate
Forget about white and milk chocolate. Dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao beans is incredibly high in antioxidants, and its bitter taste is addictive.
Chocolate also helps reduce the bad cholesterols in your bloodstream, so remember to have a small bite of dark chocolate every once in a while. Chocolate is very sugary too, so enjoy it in moderation.
There you have it:
As you see, antioxidant-rich food is also tempting, so you’ll have no problem adding them to your diet. Eat well, feel better, and remember to make this superfoods part of a balanced, varied diet for the best results.