Top Antioxidant Foods

4 Top Antioxidants and their Roll in Your Diet

 

Everyone has heard the news about antioxidants and their importance to good health and proper nutrition. It seems the more scientists learn about antioxidants, the more their value and potential increases. 
Healthy FoodAntioxidants have shown promise in everything from preventing heart disease to slowing the degeneration of the eyes and brain.  

Antioxidants work in a fairly straightforward way. What makes them so effective is their ability to neutralize a group of highly reactive, highly destructive compounds known as free radicals.

 

 

The production of free radicals is a normal bodily process, and it’s part of the process of breathing and living.  Free radicals are normally neutralized by the body’s natural defense system, rendering them harmless.  However, anything that weakens the body’s natural defenses weakens its ability to fight off these free radicals.  Those weakening agents include environmental pollution, excess UV radiation and even excessive consumption of alcohol.  

Antioxidants in ChocolateWhen free radicals are not properly neutralized, the body is left open to illness. Free radicals can damage the structure and function of cells in the body.  Recent evidence suggests that free radicals contribute to the aging process and may play a role in a great many illnesses, including cancer and heart disease.

 

One of my favorite snacks that is high in antioxidant content is Sinless Chocolate. Check it out in the info graphic and you can buy it here.

 

While vitamin supplements containing antioxidants such as vitamin C are important;  it is paramount to try to maintain a healthy diet.  It’s estimated that foods contain more than 4,000 compounds that have antioxidant qualities so eating a healthy diet is the best way to take advantage of these antioxidant properties.  In addition to the well known antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E; healthy foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains also contain numerous other lesser know antioxidants.

Scientists are only now discovering the important role these lesser known antioxidants have in keeping the body healthy.

Let’s take a look at some of the dietary sources for the major antioxidant vitamins.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is probably the most studied of all the antioxidant vitamins.  Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin found in all bodily fluids. It’s thought to be one of body’s first lines of defense against infection and disease.  Since vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, it is not stored and must be consumed in adequate quantities every day.  

Good dietary sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits, green peppers, broccoli and other green leafy vegetables, strawberries, cabbage and potatoes.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver and other tissues.

Vitamin E has been studied for its effects on everything from delaying the aging process to healing a sunburn.  While vitamin E is not a miracle worker, it is an important antioxidant, and it’s important that the diet contain sufficient amounts of vitamin E.  Good dietary sources of this important nutrient include wheat germ, nuts, seeds, whole grains, vegetable oil, fish liver oil and green leafy veggies.

nuts as an antioxidant

Beta-carotene

Beta-carotene is the nutrient that gives flamingos their distinctive pink color (they get it from the shrimp they eat).  In the human world, beta-carotene is the most widely studied of over 600 carotenoids that have been discovered.  

The role of beta-carotene in nature is to protect the skins of dark green, yellow and orange fruits from the damaging effects of solar radiation.  Scientists believe that beta-carotene plays a similar protective role in the human body.  

Sources of beta-carotene in the diet include such foods as carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, tomatoes, collard greens, kale, cantaloupe, peaches and apricots.

Selenium

Selenium is one of the most important minerals in a healthy diet, and it has been studied for its ability to prevent cell damage.  Scientists see this ability to protect cells from damage. Selenium is being studied for possible cancer preventative properties.  

It is important to get the selenium you need from your diet, since large doses of selenium supplements can be toxic.  Fortunately, selenium is easily found in a healthy diet.  

Brain nutrition

Selection of food that is good for the heart and brain

Good sources of dietary selenium include fish and shellfish, red meat, whole grains, poultry and eggs, and garlic.  Vegetables grown in selenium rich soils are also good sources of dietary selenium. As you can see, antioxidants are crucial for your optimum health and play an important roll in your diet. My favorite dietary supplement that is a nutrient dense super food and power berries can be found here for ingredient details.

For more tips to a healthier lifestyle grab my free guide here.

 

 

 

 

 

About The Author

Louann Pearl

I love sharing valuable tips that will help you enhance your overall health with proper nutrition and daily lifestyle habits. Many of us have forgotten that our brain is one of the most important organs that we have been blessed with; so you will notice that many of my posts focus on brain health.

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