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8 Antioxidants Rich Foods You Should Include in Your Diet

Antioxidants are probably one of the most talked-about stuff on this planet. Honestly speaking, I don’t think so there is anyone among us who hasn't heard about the benefits of antioxidants. From social media taught health experts to the top-notch physicians, everyone possesses an opinion about them.

Antioxidants

Once I went to the best medical specialist in Peshawar and he asked me to consume antioxidants rich foods. Then, I began searching about these antioxidants and I’m sure many of you must have gone through a similar experience. But have you ever wondered what antioxidants are? And what the hype is about?

Let's break it down!

What are antioxidants? 

Antioxidants are tiny particles that help to fight the harmful free moving particles in our body. Basically, these antioxidants help to reduce the oxidative stress in our body that is caused by the accumulation of harmful substances in our body. This stress can be damaging for our body and can result in the onset of diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular problems etc.

Why are antioxidants important for our health?

These antioxidants are vital for our survival as they fight the damaging free radicals in our body. But from where these free radicals are generated? These free radicals are constantly formed in our bodies but there are certain factors that promote their formation including:

     Pollution

     Toxins

     Smoking and alcohol consumption

     Microbial infections

     Intake of unsaturated fatty acids

     High blood glucose levels

     Excessive intake of iron, copper, magnesium or zinc

     Fluctuating levels of oxygen in the body

     Exposure to radiation

     Intense workout

How can we intake antioxidants? 

These antioxidants are naturally present in our body and can be taken from particular food sources such as plants, vegetables, whole-foods and multivitamins etc.

While I was continuing my journey with a minor cardiac problem, I was going to the best cardiologist at Said Anwar medical centre in Peshawar paved my path to a heart-healthy lifestyle. And to your surprise, antioxidants rich foods were the biggest contributors.

For your convenience, I’m listing down some antioxidants rich foods including

1- Chocolate

If you are a chocolate lover like me then you can relate that this was no less than good news for me. But remember I’m not talking about the regular chocolate bars, here chocolate strictly means dark chocolate. Nutritionally speaking, dark chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants and minerals alongside containing more cocoa than ordinary chocolate bars.

2- Blueberries

Another good source of antioxidants can be blueberries that are quite low in calories but contain a good amount of antioxidants. Researches reveal that the antioxidants present in blueberries are;

     Known to lower the risk of heart diseases by significantly reducing blood pressure and bad cholesterol

     Delay the side effects of ageing particularly those related to the delayed functioning of the brain.

3- Strawberries

Berry lovers would be happy knowing that strawberries are also rich in antioxidants. Red colour giving antioxidant anthocyanin can reduce the risk of heart problems by lowering and increasing the levels of bad and good cholesterol respectively.

4- Kale

Apart from these fruits, vegetables like kale are also rich in antioxidants. Kale is also a source of plant-based calcium and known to play an important role in various health aspects.

5- Red cabbage

Other than kale, red cabbage is also rich in antioxidants and contains four times more antioxidants than regular cabbage.

6- Beans

A group of legumes known as beans is relatively an inexpensive source of antioxidants. Beans have high fibre content and antioxidants (kaempferol) that are known to reduce chronic inflammation and inhibit cancer growth.

7- Beetroot

Beetroot is also a good source of antioxidants betalains that have proven health benefits. Antioxidants present in beetroot can help to lower inflammation and can reduce the risk of digestive and colon cancer.

8- Spinach

Spinach is known as the powerhouse of energy due to its high nutritional value. Despite being low in calories, spinach is a good source of zeaxanthin and lutein, antioxidants that can help with better vision.

The Bottom Line!

Antioxidants are compounds that are known to improve several aspects of human health. Many natural fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants and you can make them a part of your healthy diet!


 

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