Free radical atoms are a natural occurrence that causes damage to the cell’s of your body. They are inescapable, developing from within our body as we age and also present in the air around us. Some lifestyle choices you make can cause the free radicals to develop more quickly such as smoking and tanning. While you can’t escape free radicals, you can diminish and slow the amount of damage that they do to your body with some antioxidant foods. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by donating one of their own electrons, preventing the free radical from "stealing" an electron.
Here are some of the most antioxidant-rich foods that you can use to fight against the damage of free radicals.
Free Radical Fighting Foods
Berries are great sources for antioxidants. The darker the berries, the more antioxidants they contain, making blackberries the richest source of antioxidants among them all! You can find the most antioxidants and nutrients in fresh berries, but frozen berries will still do the trick. You will want about a cup of berries in order to maximize the antioxidant effect. Some easily accessible berries that contain antioxidants include strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
Artichoke hearts are delicious and pack a punch when it comes to free radical fighting antioxidants. This food is quite filling and contains many nutrients such as calcium, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Iron, Vitamin B6, and Potassium. Use artichoke hearts in a spinach dip as an appetizer or use butter and goat cheese to make a healthy, tangy side dish!
Coffee is another antioxidant-rich food that you can implement into your diet. The antioxidants in coffee help to battle heart disease, inflammation, and a weakened immune system. Coffee is full of antioxidants and known to be the number one source of antioxidants in the Western diet. Coffee is low calorie (especially when excluding cream and sugar) and can help to boost your body’s metabolism and fat fighting power.
Not only are nuts a healthy alternative to crunchy snack foods, but they can also provide you with your daily dose of antioxidants. Walnuts and pecans are particularly full of antioxidants, packing a large serving of them in as little as an ounce. You can add some nuts on top of your salad or sprinkle some atop of a berry parfait to take advantage of its powerful antioxidants.
Beans are one of the best sources of antioxidants you can find. In fact, a study testing over 100 different foods for antioxidants found that 3 out of the top 5 antioxidant rich foods were beans. Kidney beans, pinto beans, and black beans all are rich in antioxidants. Experts recommend using dried beans and cooking overnight as opposed to canned for the most antioxidant power. You can easily add more beans to your diet by eating them as a side dish or incorporating them into soups.
While free radicals are attacking your body around every corner, you can use these antioxidant-rich foods to slow the amount of damage they cause to your body. See if you can find supplements or dietary foods that contain antioxidants to fit more into your daily life. Antioxidants help to prevent aging of your skin as well as reinforce certain body systems like the cardiac and respiratory system. Prevent cell and tissue damage that could lead to cellular damage and disease by consuming antioxidant-rich foods!