The health world has been abuzz for the past several years about the importance of antioxidant and fighting free radicals to prevent diseases and slow aging. Although it is possible to purchase vitamins and supplement that contain antioxidants, the most economical and most natural way to add them is by including the best antioxidant foods in a balanced diet.
Antioxidants work by protecting cells in the body from free radicals that come from polluted air, cigarette smoke and other pollutants that are breathed into the body. Antioxidants include vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin C, lycopene, vitamin E, and beta carotene.
What are the Best Antioxidant Foods?
Vegetables are one of the best antioxidant foods. Broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes and peppers are all excellent sources of antioxidants. Vegetables that are rich in color are typically high in antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale have large amounts of the antioxidant lutein, while tomatoes and tomato derivatives like ketchup and tomato sauce have high levels of lycopene, another antioxidant.
Beta-carotene, perhaps the most well known antioxidant, can be found in fruits like grapefruit, kiwi, prunes and berries like blueberries. Carrots and sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene and in other vitamins such as A, C and E.
Obviously, the most natural way to add antioxidants the body is to eat the best antioxidant foods that nature has to offer. In addition to those referred to earlier, watermelon, apricots, pumpkins and nuts are also rich in antioxidants.
Nature has provided many different fruits and vegetables to help the body fight free radicals and remain healthy. Before the age of processed and fast foods, people didn’t have to worry about antioxidants; they were already supplying their body with then naturally through their diet.
There should be no excuse for not getting enough antioxidants naturally through the best antioxidant foods. Even in the fast paced world of today, nature’s fruits and vegetables are portable enough to eat on the run.
There are supplements that are available to provide the body with antioxidants when those occasions arise that fruits and vegetables aren’t available or when a person just wants added assurance that they have done all they can to fight the damaging free radicals that invade their body.
Some people choose supplements because they fear the pesticides and chemicals that are used to grow fruits and vegetables. Although there are organic growers who don’t use these chemicals, the prices of organics are out of reach for many people. These people find it more economical to add supplements.
Regardless of how they are gotten, antioxidants are an important part of a healthy lifestyle. When possible they should be gotten through natural sources like fruits and vegetables. When this is not possible, a supplement rich in beta carotene, lycopene, or lutein can be added to round out the nutritional needs.
Free radicals don’t stand a chance against the best antioxidant foods that nature has to offer. Staying healthy and young looking is just a broccoli spear away.