Every day we find ourselves in an environment with more oxidizing factors: environmental pollution, pesticides, tobacco, excess UV radiation, chemicals, or chronic stress, among others.
According to doctors, there are more than 100 diseases that are related to oxidative stress in the body, such as some cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson and Alzheimer’s, or rheumatic complications, for example.
In our body we have natural antioxidants such as ‘glutathione peroxidase’ or ‘peroxide dismutase,’ but both over the years are losing effectiveness and we need an extra contribution that we can provide through food. We can add more of these by consuming foods that are rich in antioxidants.
Best Antioxidant Foods
Broccoli si a green vegetable rich in Antioxidant properties due to its sulfur compounds, sulforaphane, vitamin C, glucosinolates, isothiocyanates, and indoles. “Eating broccoli twice a week has been associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease, some cancers, and diabetes, also in cognitive enhancement of both memory and learning, and as an eye protector. To get maximum benefits from broccoli, it is preferable to take it in raw form as a salad or cooked steam for a short time.
It is excellent antioxidant due to lycopene, a compound that gives it the red color. Taking a tomato crushed daily is associated with a decrease in blood lipid accumulation, a reduction in cholesterol levels.It also prevents some cancers such as prostate, breast cancer and is very healthy for the body.
The daily consumption of tomato fulfills almost 20% of the daily recommendations of vitamin C and almost 50% of vitamin A. For a greater use it must be taken crushed, in this way the lycopene will be more bioavailable.
Blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries, for example, are foods that can be taken between meals to satisfy hunger and is full of antioxidant compounds. Due to their high content of antioxidants that give them reddish and purple color such as chalcones, flavones, and anthocyanins, vitamin C, fiber, and minerals are ideal as a cardiovascular protector and against hypertension notoriously taking a handful a day. They also protect our body against infections such as cystitis.
This food group should be added into our diet around 2 or 3 times per week. The high fiber, iron, or potassium content has been shown to help reduce cholesterol, blood pressure and improve heart health, as well as being ideal for weight-loss diets.
There are many ways to take them, not forgetting the cold recipes for the summer season.
Rich in different polyphenols, including procyanidins, tannins, coumarin, or cinnamic acid, among others. Studies support that taking one gram of cinnamon a day, preferably in natural form, is caused improvements in insulin sensitivity and reduction of cholesterol and blood triglycerides.
6.Virgin Olive Oil
It is an essential component in our daily diet in rations of two tablespoons. It is often considered as the ‘golden liquid’ for its compounds like hydroxytyrosol and vitamin E, highly antioxidant, having found benefits against a multitude of chronic diseases. It can reduce oxidative free radicals by ten times more than green tea.
Components like quercetin and another great multitude of antioxidants it contains, make it excellent anti-oxidant. It can reduce cholesterol up to 10-15% if you consume 4 cloves of raw Garlic a day along with a healthy diet. To be more effective we must consume it in raw, crushed or cut to activate its components. In addition, the consumption of 2 grams of raw garlic a day has been related to the possible improvement of the bone markers and the reduction of the risk of osteoporosis.
Consuming a daily handful of nuts, equivalent to about 30 grams, will confer significant benefits to us, besides not being associated to a weight increase in those quantities. 3-4 nuts, 10-12 almonds or 10-12 hazelnuts between hours or added to meals, besides being highly satiating, will be a good source of fiber, potassium, omega 3, omega 6 and antioxidants like quercetin. It is preferable to take them in the natural form, without salt added, or fried.
Consume daily 15-20 grams of dark chocolate with a purity greater than 80% and without added sugars is preferably an easy and tasty way to take a serving of antioxidants. Flavonoid compounds such as epicatechin are associated with a possible reduction of memory loss, anti-inflammatory and probable preventive of cardiovascular diseases and hypertension.
Antioxidants are abundant in grapes, especially red grapes. Due to this red wine is more antioxidant than white wine. Compounds such as resveratrol, stilbenes, and other flavonoids, are the reason behind these benefits. Resveratrol in smaller amounts is found in other foods like pomegranate, berries, blueberries or blackberries, among others.Grapes decrease the incidence of degenerative diseases, cholesterol, and peak glucose after meals.