Antioxidant foods

It is well established in the literature that antioxidants go a long way towards the prevention of diseases which are triggered or caused by the damage done to the body from free radicals. Free radicals are the normal byproducts of an oxidative process which produces energy in the body. We also will acquire toxins from our environment which cause of free radical chain reaction within the body. Both of these circumstances can be contained through the use of antioxidants.

Anti-oxidants are substances or chemicals which break the chain reaction of free radicals or stop them before they start. In an effort to improve our health researchers and scientists have recommended that individuals received between eight and 10 servings of fruits and vegetables each day in order to potentially get enough anti-oxidants to a limit may be detrimental effects of free radicals.

So if we want the best bang for our buck, in other words receive more antioxidant for the least amount of food eaten, which foods are highest in antioxidants? The list of foods can sometimes be debated as to which has the highest number in which doesn’t. However, the overall goal is to eat an adequate amount of foods that contain antioxidants in order to negate the effects of free radicals.

One of the foods that contain the highest number of antioxidants can be found in blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. They are full fiber, minerals, vitamins and loaded with healing antioxidants, namely pranthocyanidins. Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries also contain ellagic acid, a compound that come backs carcinogens. Blueberries also appear to delay the onset of age-related loss in cognitive function.

Broccoli is another vegetable loaded with antioxidants. It is one of the cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, that help to prevent cancer and ward off heart disease. These vegetables contain indole-3-carbinol, a potent antioxidant that breaks down estrogen in the body and reduces the risk of breast cancer, overhearing and in cervical cancers. Broccoli also contains beta-carotene which helps to prevent heart disease.

Tomatoes have also made the news media in the past several years, and for good reason. Science has found that they contain chemicals, including lycopene, which wards off certain types of cancer and prevents macular degeneration and cataracts. Lycopene is a relatively rare member of the carotenoid family and is twice as powerful as beta-carotene. Some studies suggest that lycopene can help to prevent lung, colon and breast cancer. Tomatoes contain the antioxidant glutathione which helps to boost immune function.

Dried beans are another good source of anti-oxidants as are granny smith apples, pecans and cherries. 10 years ago scientists discovered that an anti-oxidant in red wine may keep your heart beating longer and stronger. This led to an increase in advertising dollars by the wine industry. The substances they found were in red grapes that helped to boost heart health by acting as a free radical scavenger. The actual chemical found was resveratrol, now manufactured in the laboratory and sold as a supplement.

Garlic is a medicinal herb which has been used for centuries in a variety of ways, including as an antibiotic. Garlic is packed with antioxidants and sulfur compounds though