Antioxidants are the chemical compounds which protect our body from the molecules known as free radicals which are produced as a bi-product during metabolic processes in our body. They work to neutralize the effect of these free radicals. Our body produces some antioxidants, but when the number of antioxidants starts reducing within the body due to aging or environmental factors, we need to consume various antioxidant foods and supplements to fulfill our body’s requirement of antioxidants.
Following are some food items and ingredients which must be incorporated into our diet to increase the content of antioxidants in the body.
Top Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Top Antioxidant-Rich Herbs
1. Goji Berries:
Goji berries are also known as wolfberries. Dried goji berries contain carbohydrates, fat, dietary fiber, protein and sugar. Goji berries contain various minerals and vitamins along with antioxidants.
- These reduce cholesterol level in the body due to their antioxidant properties.
- Helps in Skincare.
- Improve gastrointestinal functions.
2. Dark Chocolate:
Dark Chocolate is made of cocoa beans. It is very high in antioxidant contents. Two common chemical groups in dark chocolates are Polyphenols and Flavonoids. Cocoa content in dark chocolate is even higher than wine and tea.
- Flavonoids of dark chocolate have a positive effect on heart health and help in lowering blood pressure and improve blood flow.
- It may help in preventing cancer.
3. Pecan nuts:
Pecan nuts are rich buttery flavored fruits that contain monounsaturated fatty acids like Oleic acid and an amazing source of Phenolic antioxidants. The healthy fats in pecans are powerful in the production of antioxidants and reduction in inflammation.
- These contain healthy fats that may help in preventing oxidative damage caused by environmental factors and dietary issues.
- Nuts like Pecan nuts are cholesterol-lowering food as these contain monounsaturated fats that are recommended for cholesterol related problems.
- Making these nuts a part of our daily diet reduces the risk related to heart diseases as these contain plenty of antioxidants.
- These nuts have anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of Copper which contributes to reducing inflammation, especially during stiffness and pain due to arthritis.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, fibers, manganese and minerals. These have Anthocyanins that is a very good anti-inflammatory agent. Blueberries also contain Polyphenols and Flavonoids. Blueberries are considered a super food due to the highest amounts of anti-oxidants present in them.
- Being an active antioxidant, it prevents cardiovascular diseases.
- Blueberries help in the prevention of oxidative DNA damage and are highly recommended to prevent aging and cancer.
- Antioxidants present in Blueberries reduce the level of oxidized LDL.
These aid in reducing the risk of Heart-related diseases and lower the blood pressure.
- Help in improving cognitive activities, i.e., reasoning, thinking, and memory.
- Prevent Urinary Tract Infection, a common problem in women as these contain active antioxidants which prevent infection in the urinary bladder.
Elderberries contain loads of antioxidants and have a wide range of health benefits. The native Americans have been using them for ages in medicines, food preparations, dyes and other small things.
- contain Bioflavonoids, antioxidants and Vitamin A, which are all. beneficial in skin maintenance. That is why elderberries are used in many commercially available cosmetic products.
- Since Elderberries have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties they help in curing various allergies and sinus complications.
Just like the other members of berry family cranberries are also a storehouse of antioxidants. In fact, cranberries can out beat other berry family members regarding some specific types of antioxidants such as Proanthocyanidin (PAC) which is highly beneficial to human beings.
- low in calories so it aids in maintaining healthy body weight with an ample number of nutritious elements.
- A majorly known benefit of Cranberry is that it is very helpful in preventing Urinary Tract Infection (commonly known as UTI a general problem in women). Inclusion of cranberries in the diet of UTI patients relieves their problem and lowers the need for antibiotics.
- Decrease inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory property as inflammation is the root cause of many major diseases such as cancer, diabetes and other auto-immune diseases.
- prevent Cancers of lung, breast, colon and prostate due to their antioxidant properties.
Artichoke contains Vitamin A, E, D, C, K, B-6, B-12, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and folate. It also contains essential minerals, micro-nutrients, it is low in cholesterol and saturated fats.
- Vitamin K and Vitamin C present in artichokes help in keeping bones and muscles healthy.
- It contains phytonutrients Cynarins and silymarins that are very important contributors towards healthy liver function.
- Artichoke has phytonutrients rutin, quercetin and gallic acid that induce cell death that is beneficial actually for preventing cancer-causing cells production.
8. Kidney Beans:
These are very beneficial for us, as these are rich in complex carbohydrates, minerals, proteins, vitamins, fibers and very low in fats.
- Kidney beans contain a significant amount of Flavanol antioxidants and may help protect against cancer.
- These are useful in diabetes control and help in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
Blackberries are loaded with antioxidants, Vitamin C and contain a low amount of sodium too.
- Oxidative stress and inflammation can be prevented by regular use of antioxidants like Blackberries.
- Vitamin C in Blackberries produces skin collagen and prevents skin dryness and premature aging.
- Blackberries help in boosting immunity and protect us from various infections and allergies.
Cilantro leaves also known as coriander are effective antioxidants.
- Being an effective antioxidant, it helps in curing smallpox and other similar diseases.
- It is a natural stimulant that regulates proper hormonal secretion thereby helps in maintaining a healthy menstrual cycle.
Clove is a well-known antioxidant compound which contains antioxidant compounds like anthocyanins and quercetin in a significant amount.
- Rich in antioxidants, it protects the significant organs from harmful effects of free radicals.
- It is proven to prevent initial stages of lung cancer.
Cinnamon is one of the most influential antioxidants that helps in treating various problems caused by the harmful free radicals in the body that cause health hazards.
- It is highly anti-inflammatory in nature and helps in getting rid of stiffness and pain in joints and muscles.
- Cinnamon being an antioxidant helps in controlling the deposition of fats in the arteries and protects the body from various heart problems.
- Regular consumption of cinnamon can help in improving digestion and gas problem.
Oregano is generally used as a spice to improve or enhance the flavor. It is a perennial herb that has various antioxidant properties.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of an active ingredient called Beta-Caryophyllene (BCP).
- It has useful antioxidant properties as it contains various phytonutrients such as thymol and rosmarinic acid that protect the body from the effects of harmful toxins.
One of the most powerful herbs, it can help in fighting and reversing various diseases. It contains Curcumin which is an active antioxidant compound and has great healing potential.
- Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that can help in providing our body protection from many diseases like Cancer, ulcerative colitis, chronic pain and high cholesterol.
- Widely used in skin treatments because of its antioxidant properties as it can speed up the healing of wounds and scars and can reduce the skin pore size and treat acne as well.
15. Cocoa Powder:
Cocoa beans contain a high amount of anthocyanidin flavonoids which are strong antioxidants and can help in curing various health problems caused by harmful free radical particles.
- Being an antioxidant, it helps in fighting harmful free radicals and also helps in breakdown of harmful toxins that enter our body due to environmental pollution and cigarette smoke.
- It helps in decreasing the inflammation in the body and can prevent various diseases such as arthritis.
- Blood clots caused by the imbalance in the number of platelets in the blood can be cured by the consumption of cocoa powder.
Cumin is used as a spice and has many antioxidant properties. As compared to other antioxidant spices, cumin has more antioxidant properties making it one of the most widely used spice.
- Being a strong antioxidant, it helps in fighting various degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease.
- It has anti-aging properties as it fights the harmful free radical particles that strike the skin and cause various kind of skin problems and signs of aging.
Enriched with essential oils, antioxidants and nutrients Parsley is referred to as a superfood. It is often used as a garnishing component in kitchens.
- Parsley helps in fighting the free radical particles that cause tissue damage and visible signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines.
- Antioxidant features of parsley help in lowering the risks of cardiovascular diseases and prevention from certain kind of cancers. It also helps in stopping the development of various tumors.
Basil is a mint family herb which is well known for its antioxidant properties. It is an aromatic herb and appears in nature in various colors like green, white or purple depending on the environmental factors.
- Phytochemicals present in basil can prevent cancer.
- Essential oils like citronellol, eugenol and linalool present in basil are very effective in reducing inflammation.
- It has highly efficient antioxidant properties that fight the signs of aging caused by free radical particles
Gingerol, a bioactive compound presents in ginger gives it a unique flavor and fragrance and is responsible for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Because of its antioxidant properties, it can reduce inflammation and provide relief in problems like osteoarthritis and other joint related issues.
- Ginger has anti-blood clotting property that can protect from many heart-related diseases.
Thymol is the most active ingredient in thyme and is responsible for its anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties, which is why it is widely used in herbal cosmetic products.
- Loaded with Vitamin A and Vitamin C, it is a great immunity booster and aids in fighting infections.
- Bioflavonoids and volatile oil thymol, make it a powerful source of antioxidants.
- It is a good antibacterial and antiseptic agent.
- It contains a compound quercetin is an anti-allergen which makes it very useful in protecting us from seasonal allergies.