Five Top Antioxidants You Have to Try


According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), antioxidants are naturally occurring substances that can protect your cells from harm. Cells can be harmed when they come into contact with toxins called “free radicals.” Free radicals occur in many forms, but some of the most common come from secondhand smoke, environmental pollution, radiation and even the simple act of digestion as your body is breaking down the foods you eat. Antioxidants can prevent this “oxidation process” – when cells are harmed by impact from toxins. This is how they get their name – “anti” plus “oxidant.”

Antioxidant Foods

Certain foods are now known to contain a higher concentration of naturally occurring antioxidants. Eating these foods alone or in combination with other antioxidant-rich foods can help to protect you against disease, inflammation, cancer and other serious illnesses. In fact, these five particular foods are considered “antioxidant superstars.” If you want to add more antioxidants to your diet, these five foods can help you meet that goal.

Berries

Color rich berries such as cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries are equally rich in antioxidants. In fact, coming across color rich foods is often a dead giveaway for a higher concentration of antioxidants. The specific antioxidants that berries contain are known to be effective in fighting the toxins that can lead to onset of cancer, heart disease and other killer diseases.

Nettle Leaf

If the idea of eating a plant called “stinging nettle leaf” makes you think twice, you are not alone. However, the stinging property occurs only when your skin comes in contact with the tiny barbules on the surface of the raw stems and leaves. Once nettle leaf is brewed into a tea or cooked, this shrub-like cold weather-loving plant becomes health’s best friend. Nettle leaf is well known in the folk remedy and traditional medicine circles, although it is just starting to become known in mainstream medicine as well for its diuretic and laxative properties, ability to reverse benign prostate enlargement, ease internal and feminine bleeding, treat urinary tract infections, help with hair loss and other medical issues.

Garlic

Garlic is not just tasty – it is also a powerful antioxidant in its own right. Raw garlic is now known to function similarly to an antibiotic as well as a natural agent for decreasing high blood pressure and fighting viral and inflammatory toxins.

Coffee and Chocolate

While these two foods are rich in antioxidants, they should also be consumed sparingly and in the proper concentration to be most effective. Coffee should be organic and dark brown roasted to maximize antioxidant properties. Chocolate should contain as little sugar and as much cacao (raw cocoa) as possible.

Dark Green Veggies

Broccoli, spinach, kale, swiss chard, artichokes, beet greens and other dark green leafy vegetables come in with high antioxidant scores and are delicious prepared in many ways.

With all of these tasty antioxidant-rich foods to choose from, you can fight toxins, improve your health and enjoy life’s finest culinary treasures all at the same time.

About the Author:

Katie Gurley is a naturalist and an award-winning chef. She loves teaching her clients how to prepare healthy, delicious meals.