There are many foods that are rich in antioxidants and should be part of a healthy, well-balanced diet. Nutritionists and doctors often disagree on what is the top antioxidant food if asked to pick just one. However, there is one category that is at the top of the list – berries.
The berry family is highly recognized for its nutritious value. Berries contain vitamins, minerals, amino acids, dietary fiber, protein, and powerful antioxidants.
These antioxidants are thought to prevent of slow the oxidation that occurs inside the body causing free radical cells which are thought to be responsible for more than sixty diseases.
The most prolific diseases known to benefit from the presence of antioxidants are cancer, cardiovascular and inflammatory disorders, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, vision problems, and chronic sickness.
Measuring Antioxidant Properties
Scientists devised a numbering system to represent the antioxidant strength in different foods and supplements. This number is called the ORAC and refers to the oxygen radical absorbency capacity.
Top Antioxidant Food – Berries
Wild blueberries have higher antioxidant powers than cultivated blueberries. Food scientists have found that wild blueberries have a wide range of health benefits including urinary tract health prevents cancer development, cardiovascular protection, mental alertness and vision support. The ORAC value of wild blueberries is 8000 units per cup.
Black raspberries are not widely known berries but they are very rich in antioxidants. These berries have been tested and shown to prevent growth of tumor cells by starving them of new blood vessels. ORAC value of more than 15,000 units per cup.
Most everybody knows that cranberries are good for urinary tract health. What might not be known is that it is a top antioxidant food for cardiovascular health, cancer prevention and has shown promise in brain and vision health.
Elderberries are another berry that is not very well known but is extremely rich in antioxidants. It is powerful as an anti-inflammatory and has shown potential as anti-bacterial and an anti-viral for protection against Salmonella, E. coli, H.pyroli, and Staphylococcus.
Red raspberries are much loved for their distinct yet subtle flavors. This tasty berry is packed with antioxidants that have shown the ability to stimulate fat metabolism which could make this berry a top antioxidant food in the battle against obesity.
Grapes are powerhouses of antioxidants. Most recently they have been the subject of health news due to the antioxidant resveratrol. The antioxidants in grapes are known to be beneficial for health in preventing Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, cancer, osteoarthritis, and other aging issues.
Strawberries contain a myriad of antioxidants that are powerful blood-thinners, anti-fungal, and fights free radicals that are thought to be responsible for many debilitating and life-threatening diseases.
There are many reasons for eating berries and many different berries to choose from. The best reason is that berries are a top antioxidant food that protects the body from a host of illnesses and diseases.