Those who are in want of staying young for a longer time cannot miss the advice of antioxidant diet in their search for the ‘magic’ of delaying aging process! So, what is an antioxidant and how it works as an anti aging factor? And the big question- what are antioxidant foods or the anti-oxidant rich foods? Come, lets explore!
What is an Antioxidant?
Antioxidants are compounds that neutralize free radicals. In simple terms, they are substances that protect body cells from the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are the chemicals produced as a result of oxidation process in human beings. These chemicals are harmful but human body can handle limited amount of free radicals. In fact, it needs them to function properly but excessive free radicals may cause heart and liver disease as well as cancer. They also damage cells and promote ageing of skin.
How Antioxidants Delay Aging?
Many studies conducted by authoritative organizations state that a diet high in antioxidants has shown to lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease- all related to aging. Also, foods high in antioxidants are even rich with fiber and have lower saturated fat and cholesterol. They are also good sources of other vitamins and minerals. This means that people who take antioxidant diet keep many age related diseases at bay. They also supply to their body enough of vitamins and minerals that are needed to keep their skin supple, soft and youthful. So what are the antioxidant foods? Lets get a list of it!
List of Foods Rich in Antioxidants
Many people love to take supplements or shakes that promise to fulfill their daily need of antioxidants. However, there is a better way for opting antioxidant diet- natural foods that have high contents of anti-oxidants. It is much easier to include antioxidant foods than to make a routine of taking supplements. Its tastier way too! Here is a list of some foods that are high in antioxidants. Read, internalize and include them in your daily diet to keep yourself young- the antioxidant way! This exhaustive list contains some really good sources of antioxidants.
All types of fish have various types of antioxidative compounds that are essential to protect their
lipids against damage caused by reactive oxygen species. These belong to various chemical groups and include antioxidant enzymes, amino acids, peptides, ascorbic acid, carotenoids and phenolic compounds such as tocopherols and ubiquinones.
Have fish twice a week. Fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are a very good anti-inflammatory food offering various health benefits including anti-aging effects.
Fruits and vegetables
Vegetables, especially the green leafy veggies have lots of phytochemicals (the plant compounds that act as antioxidants.) Phytochemicals help reduce inflammation and also eliminate carcinogens.You need to eat raw vegetables to get most of their antioxidants.
Fruits are also great storehouse of powerful phytochemicals that directly inhibit the DNA binding of certain carcinogens. The colorful fruits and vegetables are perhaps the richest sources of antioxidants. Have at least five servings of fruits and veggies per day.
When taken in form of sprouts, legumes are great sources of not only antioxidants but also minerals, vitamins, and enzymes that will make you healthy. All types of beans- red, black, pinto, kidney- all are excellent sources of antioxidants.
Yogurt is a great source of riboflavin, a B vitamin. While riboflavin is not an antioxidant, it has an important role to play jump starting the antioxidant activity. B vitamins combined with antioxidant glutathione, already present in body cells eliminate free radicals and keeps you protected against cancer and heart disease. A bowl full of plain yogurt daily is enough.
Powerhouse of antioxidants and also a good source of B vitamins – so essential for your heart and brain’s health. They have good fats that help in maintaining elastin and collagen of skin and keep your skin resilient. Don’t over eat though as they are high in calories. A handful is sufficient for your day’s requirement.
Herbs are sourced from plant’s leaves and spices are derived from the bark, stem, and seeds and both of these are excellent sources of antioxidants. Cloves, cinnamon, oregano, turmeric, ginger, and garlic are perhaps the most important spices that can be called powerhouses of antioxidants. Parsley, basil, mint and other such herbs are also good antioxidant sources. Try to have fresh herbs and spices because fresh ones have higher antioxidant levels than processed, powdered ones.
Super Antioxidant Foods
While all the above foods have good amount of antioxidants and must be included in your daily diet, there are certain foods that can be called richest sources of antioxidants- the superfoods! These super antioxidant foods include those included in the following list.
List of Super Antioxidant Foods
- Acai fruit
- Allium vegetables such as garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, chives, and shallots
- Green foods like wheatgrass
- Buckwheat seeds and grains
- Beans – red beans, kidney beans
- Hot peppers
- Nuts and seeds- pecan, walnuts, pistachios, almonds and hazelnuts
- Berries- blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries
- Pears, Plums, Apples
- Artichokes, red cabbage and red leaf lettuce
- Potatoes- sweet potatoes and russet potatoes
- Dark Chocolate
Want to know more about Super fruits loaded with antioxidants? Here’s what you should read:
Don’t just binge on one or the other super food having rich contents of antioxidants, have a balanced diet having all the components of antioxidants. You must also drink enough water needed for hydration of skin. Then only you can get whole benefits of an antioxidant diet!