Antioxidants are compounds that are produced in your body and can be found in certain foods. They help to defend your cells from damage caused by potentially harmful molecules called free radicals. If your body can’t process and remove these free radicals efficiently, it can lead to oxidative stress which can harm cells and body function, WebMD explains.
So what are the benefits of having a diet that’s high in antioxidants? Quite simply, it may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and certain types of cancers while promoting healthy living.
Here are seven foods that are high in antioxidants:
Grapes, especially those that are dark in colour, are loaded with phytochemicals like phenolic acids, stilbenes, anthocyanins, and proanthocyanidins. These are all powerful antioxidants that can help to protect you from chronic diseases. In addition, grapes are also packed with nutrients like vitamin C.
Healthline refers to blueberries as the “king of antioxidant foods”, and we can see why. Blueberries contain vitamins and minerals that are said to strengthen your immune system, and according to studies, they have also been shown to increase the antioxidant levels in your body.
Nuts are packed with heart-healthy substances like unsaturated fats, Omega-3 fatty acids, and L-arginine, which is a substance that can help to promote the health of your artery walls to lessen the risk of blood clots. According to Mayo Clinic, research suggests that nuts can reduce levels of inflammation that are commonly linked to heart disease. Types of nuts to add to your diet include almonds, hazelnuts and pecans.
Switching to whole grains can significantly improve your health. It’s packed with nutrients such as fiber and antioxidants, and can help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer, WebMD explains. Try to consume whole grain bread instead of white bread or brown rice instead of white rice.
Dark green vegetables
Vegetables like spinach, broccoli and kale are high in nutrients and vitamins such as C, E and A and can help to fight diseases. These super foods are also packed with magnesium and potassium. Adding a portion of these vegetables to your meals can improve your health and wellbeing.
Tea consists of potent phytochemicals that can help to combat inflammation. In particular, green tea is loaded with polyphenol antioxidants that can improve brain function, and lower the risk of heart disease. As healthline mentions, green tea also contains a catechin, which is a natural antioxidant that helps to prevent cell damage, called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).
Fish such as salmon, sardines and tuna provides powerful omega-3 fatty acids and also contains essential nutrients like vitamin D, which is relatively difficult to find in food. Consuming fish may reduce your risk of autoimmune diseases and can improve brain health.