8 Foods Rich in Antioxidants
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules that inhibit oxidation. Oxidation produces free radicals that are known to damage cells. Antioxidants are key to protecting the cells from damaging and ageing.
These powerful substances prevent many diseases. Vitamin C, beta carotene and vitamin E are some well-known antioxidants.
How Do Antioxidants work?
Unstable free radicals damage cells. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by donating their electrons to free radicals.
One secret to good health is consuming foods that contain antioxidants. Here are eight of them:
Also known as wolfberry, goji berry is a bright red edible berry. It is usually dried and used in beverages. With an Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) score of 25,000, goji berry is an excellent source of antioxidants. ORAC is a unit of measurement of antioxidant content in foods.
There are many good sources of antioxidants, but what makes goji berries stand apart is their amino acids (protein), fatty acids and specific antioxidants. It is not common for a fruit to provide amino acids, especially 11 types considered “essential” that the body cannot produce.
This will definitely delight chocolate lovers. Dark chocolate has an ORAC score of 21,000. "Cocoa is rich in antioxidant flavonoids called flavanols, which include procyanidins, epicatechins, and catechins," says Harold Schmitz, PhD, Director of Science at Mars, Inc.
Pecan, which is technically a drupe, is smooth and has a pinkish-brown color. The antioxidant-rich pecans have been consumed by American aborigines for centuries. ORA score: 17,000.
A research study conducted in 2011 at the Loma Linda University suggests that antioxidants in pecans promote heart health prevent diseases. Including pecans in your diet enhances the amount of antioxidants in the body and reduces LDL, the “bad” cholesterol.
Are you getting enough antioxidants?
Wild blueberry has made it to the list with an ORAC score of 14,000. Antioxidants in this indigo-colored superfood prevent many deadly diseases and protect the body at cellular level.
With an ORAC score of 14,000, elderberry is a storehouse of anthocyanin antioxidants. This bluish-black or red berrylike drupe has more flavonoids than blueberries, cranberries, goji berries and blackberries.
Cranberries are red acid berries produced by plants belonging to the heath family. Cranberry, which is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and many essential nutrients, is a superfood. ORAC score: 9,500.
Artichoke prevents cancer and lowers harmful cholesterol levels; it has many health benefits. Even though this vegetable appears unappetizing, it has an ORAC score of 9,400.
Kidney bean is a legume with an ORAC score of 8,400. Native to Central America and Mexico, kidney beans are loaded with antioxidants and other essential nutrients. Copper in kidney beans is an antioxidant trace element.
5 Antioxidant-Rich Foods
- Antioxidants inhibit oxidation.
- Antioxidants prevent diseases.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant.
- Goji berry is packed with antioxidants.
- Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants.
Antioxidants are really like little bodyguards inside your body that protect your cells from disease.— Cynthia Sass