Free radicals damage cells and cause cellular damage. They are highly reactive substances that if left alone without intervention from antioxidants from foods or other sources can lead to disease, premature aging or even death.
Most people are looking for the best antioxidant foods and the best way to incorporate them into their diet. There are also antioxidant supplements that can be used to fight free radicals but these can never be as powerful as antioxidant foods that nature supplies.
Antioxidants are compounds that are able to protect the cells in the body from the massive damage caused by those molecules known as free radicals and that are highly unstable.
These free radicals come from many different sources and are in the environment everywhere. They can be the result of air pollution, cigarettes, industrial waste and more.
Examples of antioxidants include many of the vitamins that are already known to be part of a healthy diet, including Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, lycopene, selenium and Vitamin A.
These vitamins, minerals and nutrients can all be found in many of the foods that are already part of most diets. Fruits and vegetables in particular are antioxidant foods that are part of a daily, well-balanced diet.
Vegetables that are high in antioxidants include cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, and green peppers. The commonality that is most easily seen is that all of the fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants are all also brightly colored. This is due to a compound known as phytonutrients that is found in these foods.
Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale; ripe red tomatoes and tomato based products; blueberries, oranges, kiwi, carrots, and sweet potatoes are all examples of antioxidant foods that are also richly colored due to phytonutrients.
What they Contain
Tomatoes and tomato based products are rich in the antioxidant lycopene. Tomatoes’ are one antioxidant food that actually increases in antioxidant potency when cooked. Tomato sauce and ketchup are two such examples.
Spinach and kale are high in the antioxidant lutein; sweet potatoes and carrots are high in the vitamin antioxidants A, C, and E.
Teas also contain high amounts of antioxidants and are a very common drink, meaning that many people already get a large supply of antioxidants on a daily basis if they are tea or coffee drinkers.
Black, white, oolong, and green teas are all rich in antioxidants that provide heart protection and prevent cancer caused by free radicals. Green tea is especially high in antioxidants and also offers other health benefits.
Antioxidant foods are part of a healthy, well-balanced diet and every effort should be made to make sure that they are being included on a daily basis. Although there are supplements for those occasions when eating healthy is not possible, it is best to get antioxidants from whole, natural food sources.
Nature has supplied many different antioxidant foods that can supply the body’s needs and help protect and preserve health for years to come.