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Antioxidant rich fruits

Updated on July 24, 2013

What are Antioxidants?

We all keep hearing eat this or eat that because it is full of antioxidants but what exactly are antioxidants? Many of the antioxidants are vitamins and enzymes but they have been grouped together because of their ability to to prevent oxidation of your other molecules. When oxidation occurs in your body there can be a release of what are called free radicals. The idea is that the antioxidants will clean up the free radicals before they can do any harm. If the free radicals are not taken care of then there is a good chance they will start a chain reaction which can really mess up your cells and in some cases kill them completely. So it is like antioxidants are little body guards that jump in the way of danger when your cells are in trouble and become oxidized themselves instead of your cell. So where can you get some of these little body guards, well believe it or not they are actually quite common in the things we eat. The key is having enough of them by eating foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E as well as several enzymes such as superoxide dismutase. Some great fruits that are full of these very antioxidants are apples, blueberries and coconuts.

Apples

Not only are apples full of antioxidants but they also have some other great benefits for your mind and body. There are over 7000 different types of apples grown throughout the entire world. Only about a hundred apple varieties are grown commercially in the United States, so many of us have seen very few of the vast selection apples have to offer.Like most fruit apples also contain vitamin C, approximately 10 milligrams in a single large sized fruit.Apples have been shown to help prevent several types of cancer, some of them include breast, liver, and colon cancer.Studies have shown that having an apple just about everyday will help protect your lungs from pollutants. It is widely believed that it is quercetin an antioxidant in the skin of the apple that causes these benefits.Not only do apples hold many benefits in the form of antioxidants but they are also great for keeping fit. When you eat just one large apple, you are taking in an amazing three to five grams of fiber. That abundance of fiber does just the trick for when it comes to filling you up right. You will remain feeling full longer and it will only cost you a mere 80 to 150 calories towards your calorie intake for the day. Now when apples seem like they just can't get any better, apples also contain ursolic acid. Ursolic acid has been shown in several studies to increase your metabolism and it can even help the body build muscle.The health benefits just keep on coming when we are talking the amazingly juicy apple. When you eat an apple studies have shown that there is an increase in your acetylcholine production. Acetylcholine is an organic compound that acts as a neurotransmitter in your body, which in turn basically gives your nerve cells a better connection. This is why for many years apple consummation has been linked with helping your memory.

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Coconuts

There has been a lot of craze about the coconut recently. Many new products have flooded the market including coconut water, oil, or milk. Coconut oil is one of the most popular products currently but whether it be water, oil or milk you will get many of the great benefits of the coconut. One great thing about coconuts besides all those antioxidants is that they are loaded with a good fat called medium chain triglycerides or MCT for short. Unlike the majority of the fats in your diet which are long chain fatty acids, medium chain triglycerides just go straight to your liver where they can be quickly utilized as a source for quick energy. This increased energy has been show to jumpstart your metabolism and help you burn more calories throughout the day. On average people who consume coconuts can burn up to four percent more calories than those who do not consume coconuts regularly. Almost half of the fatty acids in a coconut are what is called lauric acid. Lauric acid has been shown to kill several pathogens including Staphylococcus Aureus and Candida Albicans, which commonly causes yeast infections in humans. Just like apples coconuts can greatly improve the connection between you neurotransmitter resulting in improved brain function and memory. No one is really sure why but many studies have shown that for some reason eating coconuts helps burn fat in excess from the abdominal area.

Blueberries

Blueberries are America's second favorite berry. First is the good old strawberry but who doesn't like a juicy strawberry. Not only do they make a great supplement to your morning cereal but blueberries are packed full with more antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable. Now before you go out and start stuffing blueberry muffins down your throat, you should know that is highly recommended to consume raw blueberries because the high heats from cooking your blueberries is likely to get rid of some of those valuable antioxidants. Many studies have shown that consuming one to two cups of blueberries daily can help fight and prevent many forms of cancer including colon, breast, and cancers of the small intestines. Many of the antioxidants in blueberries have been shown to protect the eyes retina from oxygen and sun damage.Some other great things that blueberries help the body out with are improve memory and brain function and can also help control type 2 diabetes.To help keep your blueberries fresh, don't wash them off until you are ready to eat your blueberries because washing them rinses off the protective bloom which helps protect the berries after being picked. New research has shown that all of the antioxidants in blueberries are completely preserved when you freeze and store your blueberries for up to six months.

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