Antioxidants – Essentials to a Healthy Heart and a Longer Life

Antioxidants in herss and spices
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Keeping Your Heart Healthy with Natural Antioxidants

High antioxidant foods are those types of foods that offer you protection against cancer and heart diseases. Different types of antioxidants play different roles in your body, but most of them work by neutralizing free radicals thus rendering them harmless to your cells. The most popular forms of antioxidants include lutein, beta-carotene, vitamin A, C and E, lycopene and selenium.

Categories of High Antioxidant Foods

Most antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables. Some animal products, nuts and grains also contain this substance. Plants rich in antioxidants are used to make raw diet therapies for cancer treatment or included in your daily meals to protect you from cancer. Examples of high antioxidant fruits include guavas, mangoes, pomegranates, grapes, oranges, mulberry, bananas, kiwi fruit, watermelons, pineapples and grapefruit. Examples of high antioxidant vegetables include red cabbage, kales, chili pepper, peppers, spinach, lemon, parsley, red beetroots and ginger. Apricots, almonds, pecans, ground nuts, peanuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, dates and prunes are examples of high antioxidant dry fruits, seeds and nuts. Broad beans, soy beans and pinto beans are the common examples of high anti oxidant legumes. Examples of high anti oxidant cereals include barley, corn, millet and oats while high antioxidant spices include oregano, cloves and cinnamon.

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Other Examples of High Antioxidant Foods

Red beans. Half a cup of dried beans contains a total of 13727.
Wild blueberries. A cup of blueberries contains a total of 13427 antioxidants.
Red kidney beans. Half a cup of dried kidney beans contains a total of 13259 antioxidants.
Cultivated blueberries. A cup of these berries contains a cup of 13259 antioxidants.
Cranberry. A cup of whole cranberries contains a total of 9019 antioxidants.
Artichoke. A cup of cooked artichoke contains a total of 7904 antioxidants.
Blackberry. A cup of blackberries contains a total of 7701 antioxidants.
Dried prune. Half a cup of dried prune contains a total of 7291 antioxidants.
Raspberry. A cup of raspberry contains a total of 6058 antioxidants.
Strawberry. A cup of strawberry contains a total of 5938 antioxidants.
Red apples. One delicious apple contains a total of 5900 antioxidants.
Granny smith apple. One granny smith apple contains a total of 5381 antioxidants.
Pecan. One ounce of pecan contains a total of 5381 antioxidants.
Sweet cherry. One cup of sweet cherry contains a total of 4873 antioxidants.
Black plum. One black plum contains a total of 4844 antioxidants.
Russet potato. One cooked russet potato contains a total of 4649 antioxidants.
Black beans. Half a cup of dried black beans contains a total of 4181 antioxidants.
Plum. One plum contains a total of 4118 antioxidants.
Gala apples. One gala apple contains a total of 3903 antioxidants.

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How to Benefit From High Antioxidant Foods

In order to get sufficient supply of antioxidants, it is advisable for you to take a balanced diet all the times, and ensure that it contains lots of nuts, whole grain cereals and legumes. A serving of fruits and vegetable salad is essential before or after every meal. You should adapt a healthy feeding style in order to obtain maximum benefit. Replace the snacks you take between meals with healthy options such as fresh fruit juice and vegetable salads such that you take a minimum of 5 fruit and vegetable servings each day. You can also replace your regular spices with natural spices such as ginger so as to obtain maximum amounts of antioxidants.

How Much is Too Much – High Antioxidant Foods

The level of antioxidants in these foods can be affected by various factors. For instance, cooking certain foods such as red potatoes, carrots and russet decreases the number of antioxidants. However, some foods contain a higher number of antioxidants in their cooked form. A good example is tomato and peanuts. Boiling tomatoes boosts its antioxidant levels, same as roasting peanuts. It is advisable to learn the best way to prepare your foods in order to preserve the antioxidants and other nutrients contained. On the other hand, if you prefer to take fruits and vegetables in the form of fresh juice, make sure that you consume the juice immediately or keep it in an air tight container. This is because most antioxidants are lost through oxidation and this interferes with the number of antioxidants contained in your fruit or vegetable juice.

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