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Foods rich in antioxidants are shown to help fight disease, cancer, and aging. Here are the top 10.
Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals in your body. But what does that actually mean? Free radical damage, also known as oxidative damage, produced from our body’s own cellular processes contributes to the aging process.
There are many natural foods that have significant sources of antioxidants to fight free radical damage. Think of them as anti-aging agents. Here are ten of the best antioxidant foods to include in your daily diet.
1. Dark Chocolate. The antioxidants in dark chocolate have been linked to many health benefits like reduced inflammation. 70% cocoa content or higher is recommended. Dark chocolate can be bitter but milk chocolate contains a lot of milk and sugar which eliminates the health benefit so it must be dark chocolate.
2. Pecans. A good source of healthy fats, minerals, and antioxidants, pecans are also high in calories, so just a few as a snack will do the trick.
3. Blueberries. Packed with antioxidants and only 1 calorie per berry, blueberries have been shown to have many health benefits, including aiding weight loss and delaying age-related decline in brain function.
4. Strawberries. A rich source of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, strawberries are also low in sugar despite their sweet taste. The brighter red they are, the higher the health benefit.
5. Artichokes. While not common to many American diets, artichokes are rich in antioxidants and well worth adding to your diet. Look for steamed (not fried) artichoke recipes which raise their antioxidant content, and avoid buttery dressings, opting for healthy olive oil dressing instead.
6. Concord and Purple Grapes. The skin and seeds of these grapes are especially full of antioxidants and have been shown to help reduce blood cholesterol and type 2 diabetes while benefiting brain health. Red and green grapes contain fewer antioxidants.
7. Black Raspberries. A great source of antioxidants, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and manganese, black raspberries have been linked to lower risks of cancer and heart disease, likely due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
8. Red Kale. The health benefits of kale are so well-known that it has become a synonym for a healthy lifestyle because it is one of the most nutritious greens to be found anywhere. It is rich in calcium, vitamins C, A, and K, and of course, antioxidants. Red kale is higher in antioxidants than the green variety.
9. Red (Purple) Cabbage. Like kale, red cabbage is rich in vitamins C, A, and K, and its high level of antioxidants provide its red color. Raw or stir-frying red cabbage is best, while steaming it may reduce its antioxidant content significantly.
10. Beans. All types of beans contain antioxidants and are good for us, but according to a study reported on WebMD, those highest in antioxidants are red beans, followed by red kidney beans, pinto beans, and black beans. Simply tossing beans into a salad is an easy and delicious way to get more into your diet.
Top Tip: Fill your shopping cart from the fresh produce aisle before any other area of the grocery store. Eat well to be well.
Get to know Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey (VNA) now, and all the home health services available to you and your loved ones, before you have a health emergency. We are proud to be the longest-serving VNA in the state of New Jersey, so we know a thing or two about helping seniors.
The Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey (VNA) is a leading provider of comprehensive home health care services in Morris, Hunterdon, Sussex, and Warren Counties in Northern New Jersey. Established in 1898, generations have known that just one call to VNA opens the door to quality, patient-centered home health care solutions that allow patients to remain in the comfort of their homes with dignity, health, and independence.