If you’ve been anywhere near the supermarket, then the chances are you’ve seen the word “antioxidant” plastered over many foods on offer. But what does it mean? And which foods can you get them from without spending a fortune?
What are antioxidants?
It might seem as though you need a degree in science, but antioxidants don’t have to be as scary – or confusing – as they seem. Antioxidants are chemicals that help to fight oxidation in our body. Although they all work differently, antioxidants often work together to fight off any free radicals. These are the chemicals that cause the oxidation process, and damage our cells in the process. Our body makes free radicals while processing any toxins, sunlight, and even food, but now antioxidants could break them down or stop them before they cause any harm.
Blueberries can often go underlooked, but they might soon be making a comeback after learning they are often considered to have the most antioxidants out of the popular fruit and vegetables. The antioxidants in blueberries are shown to help neutralize many free radicals that lead to inflammation and, in turn, they help delay any decline in our brain’s function.
This fruit is packed full of many beneficial substances, including plenty of antioxidants. Amazingly, the antioxidants in raspberries have been shown to destroy certain cancer cells and can lower the risk of contracting the illness as well as several heart diseases. Raspberries are also said to help relieve many of the symptoms of stress that can all have harmful effects on our bodies.
Chocolate lovers – your time has come to break open that bar and enjoy a piece or two! Of dark chocolate, of course. It’s the high cocoa content that makes this variety of chocolate so rich in antioxidants, and research has shown that many bars have even more than raspberries or blueberries. It’s thought that dark chocolate can help to lower blood pressure, as well as preventing many heart illnesses thanks to the high level of antioxidants.
There is a reason that this leafy green has been on many superfood lists over the years, and it seems as though spinach is just set to get better and better. The vegetable is filled with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that all work together to help our bodies stay healthy. Two of the antioxidants in spinach have even been found to help protect our eyes from damage from UV light.
It’s the red from this cabbage that provides the antioxidants that are also found in strawberries and raspberries meaning this vegetable also helps to prevent many cancers and heart illnesses. As if that wasn’t enough, red cabbage is packed full of vitamin C which helps to keep our skin firm as well as boost our immune system.
It seems as though we don’t have to look too far to find foods packed with antioxidants, and could still enjoy some of our favorite meals knowing that our bodies will thank us for all those health benefits. Perfect!