Because of the health threats that free radicals pose to the human body, it is important that we ensure adequate intake of free radical scavengers – an enzyme, mineral, or vitamin that has the ability to neutralize or destroy free radicals before it causes damage. These free radical scavengers are most often known as antioxidants.
The antioxidant industry has grown so big that more and more claims are being put out, even if the claim has no basis at all. Some companies resort to making synthetically-made products that claim to provide consumers with the high antioxidant content. But what is really true?
Truth is, you could never go wrong with going natural. Aside from the fact that you are assured of its efficacy, you can sleep well at night knowing that you are safe from unwanted side and adverse effects. Learn to make the right decision by choosing what works best for you.
Here is a list of seven fruits and vegetables with high antioxidant content:
There are four common berries that are high in antioxidants, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries and blueberries.
Strawberries are rich in different types of phytonutrients. When these phytonutrients work synergistically, they are able to provide more support to the cardiovascular system of the body. Eating about 1 to 2 cups of strawberries daily is already enough to reduce the tendency of the lipids and fats to be oxidized, because of that, the fats circulating the body is reduced. The phytonutrients of strawberries also functions as an angiotensin I converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, which helps in lowering the blood pressure, therefore protecting the heart.
For raspberry, it is its ellagic acid that prevents the damage of the membranes of the cells. Added to that are the anthocyanins that make the raspberry rich red in color and makes it a good antimicrobial and antioxidant agent. Compared to strawberry, raspberry is 50 percent higher in the activities of antioxidants that give the fruit its anti-cancer properties. Raspberry’s being a good source of antioxidant also comes from vitamin C, vitamin B-complex and manganese.
As for cranberries, two things allow the fruit to boast of its antioxidant protection. First, it has a wide-array of phytonutrients that serves as antioxidants; second, these antioxidants work synergistically with each other alongside vitamin C and manganese. Lastly are blueberries, which is like the other berries that are highly rich in phytonutrients. Unlike strawberry that is more relevant in the cardiovascular system, blueberry has whole body relevance for its antioxidant protection, especially in nervous system by protecting human from neurodegenerative diseases.
Compared to other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli has the most concentration of vitamin C, an antioxidant. Other than that are the flavonoids and carotenoids, which when working together with vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and manganese will make the body less prone to experience oxidative stress. When this happens, the body will have fewer tendencies to develop chronic inflammation that leads to the risks of getting cancer.
The antioxidant content in carrots is overwhelming, and most of the carrot’s health benefits had been attributed to its antioxidant activity.
Carrots have been known for their ability to keep the skin and the eyes healthy, and you may have not heard this fact: carrots can actually keep your heart healthy too! A study conducted by a team of researchers from the Netherlands have found out that eating foods that are dark orange or yellow in color protects the heart than eating foods that are colored white, purple, red or green does. Furthermore, the researchers revealed that of all the orange and yellow colored foods available, the carrots offer the best form of protection to the heart.
The carrot’s ability to protect the heart is attributed to its high antioxidant content as well as to falcarinol. These substances prevent the clumping of red blood cells and promote better circulation to ensure the healthy pumping mechanism of the heart.
Cherries are one of the fruits with the most amounts of antioxidants. The anthocyanin in cherries makes the fruit on top of the list, considering that anthocyanin is the most effective among the phytonutrients. In a study conducted by the Michigan State University on the luscious red tart cherries, the antioxidant component is just similar to the vitamin E supplement. It has the capacity to reduce the cardiovascular diseases, gout, arthritis and other chronic diseases. Anthocyanin prevents the cells from oxidative stress. Because of this, inflammatory diseases are prevented.
A piece of orange that weighs 131 grams can already provide 116.1 percent of the required daily allowance for vitamin C with only 61 calories. Oranges are also rich in fiber, folate, vitamin B1, potassium, vitamin A and calcium. All these vitamins and minerals are effective antioxidants in the body. However, there is more antioxidant power in orange in the form of hesperidin, a type of flavonone. Herperidin is considered the most important antioxidant in orange because of its ability to lower the blood pressure and cholesterol. Herperidin is also a potent anti-inflammatory that prevents cardiovascular problems, arthritis, respiratory problems and cancers.
It may be disregarded by the weight watchers because of its high carbohydrates content, but potatoes re not just rich in vitamin C, B6, manganese and all the other antioxidant minerals, it is also rich in phytochemicals. The flavonoids, carotenoids, caffeic acid and the unique patatin have all been showing activities of them foraging on free radicals. By doing this, oxidative stress is reduced, unnecessary cell death is moderated.
A tomato is considered as a fruit, and perhaps it is one of the most widely marketed fruits for its antioxidant properties. While it is high in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C, tomatoes varied phytonutrients made the vegetable an effective antioxidant. The type of antioxidant protection of tomato comes in different forms. First, it reduces lipid peroxidation, the damage of oxygen from the fats that are located in the bloodstream and cell membranes. Second, the enzymes responsible for the antioxidant process functions better with tomato. This enabled tomato to be good protection for diseases of the blood vessels, kidney, bones and liver.