Oxygen metabolism is responsible for the energy production in human body however during this process it release harmful substances apart from energy production.
The by-products of oxygen metabolism are the unstable substances called free radicals which are negatively charged by acquiring electrons. Antioxidants are the essential for neutralisation of free radicals.
The small concentration of free radicals has little effects however, overloading of free radical may cause damage to DNA and cell membranes and cause several ill effects on human body.
The overloading of free radicals for prolonged period may cause improper functionality of human body as whole and may responsible for cardiovascular diseases (CVD), liver diseases and cancer in severe cases.
Antioxidants are required to neutralise the effects of oxidants on human body and protects against the ill effects of oxidants. It helps in expelling free radicals from human body and restoration of cell, tissue and organs functionality.
7 Antioxidants Rich Foods
The regular consummation of foods rich in antioxidants may avoid the overloading of oxidants in human body. Some of the antioxidants food which may help fight against free radicals are described below.
Dark chocolate is rich source of cocoa, essential minerals and loaded with antioxidants. The concentration of antioxidants in chocolate is much higher than we get from berries.
The FRAP analysis shows that the concentration of antioxidants in dark chocolate is 15 mmol per 100 grams compared to 9.2 mmol and 2.3 mmol in blueberries and raspberries respectively.
The essential minerals and antioxidants present in dark chocolate helps in providing other health benefits like:
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduced risk of bad cholesterol
Several studies have shown that the consumption of dark chocolate helps in increasing blood antioxidants and reduce the risk of vascular diseases.
In addition to this it helps in reducing the bad cholesterol and promotion of healthy cholesterol and play important role in reducing the risk of high blood pressure and associated heart diseases.
It has always been understood that antioxidants rich food items would be costlier, and it will not have easy access to everyone. However, it’s good news for these people suffering with financial dilemma.
In western countries blueberries are found as wild shrubs and can be easily accessible by everyone. You can have very fresh harvest from the forest and suffice the requirement of antioxidants in the body.
As per FRAP studies the average concentration of antioxidants in blueberries is 9.2 mmol per 100 grams which is very good compared to other sources of antioxidants.
In addition to this the studies on animals have found out that blueberries may be used as medicinal ingredients against multiple neurological conditions. However, more studies need to be carried out on the same.
The essential ingredients of blueberries such as anthocyanin helps in reducing the level of bad cholesterol and prevents against high blood pressure symptoms and associated heart diseases.
Like other berries, strawberries are also rich in antioxidants and vitamin C and other essential minerals. It gets its red colour due to presence of anthocyanin which is rich source of antioxidants.
Asper FRAP studies the average concentration of antioxidants in strawberries is 5.4 mmol per 100 grams of strawberries. Though its concentration is low compared to blueberries its consumption is higher which may suffice the requirement.
The easy access of strawberries makes in preferred source of antioxidants across the globe. It can be consumed in the forms of snacks, salads and other cooked dishes however cooked strawberries are not of much use.
Anthocyanins presence helps in reducing the bad cholesterol level (LDL) and keeps the blood pressure within the range and prevents vascular related diseases.
The vitamin C presence in strawberries provides strong immune system and helps in fighting against several bacterial, viral and fungal infections. It also improves the wound healing capacity of the body.
Like strawberries and red cabbage, raspberries also get its red colour due to presence of anthocyanin. It is group of antioxidants which helps in preventing high blood pressure and heart diseases.
Raspberries are good source of vitamin C, manganese, dietary fibre and essential antioxidants. It is commonly used as snacks and desserts.
As per the FRAP analysis the average concentration of antioxidants is 4 mmol per 100 grams of raspberries. The concentration is better than the red cabbage and helps in improving the functionality of human body.
The properties of raspberries which may help in providing better health conditions are:
- Prevents heart diseases
- Boosts immune system
Anthocyanin group of antioxidants helps in reducing symptoms of high blood pressure and prevents heart diseases. It also found be effective in preventing stomach cancer.
In addition to this the presence of vitamin C in raspberries provide antioxidants and boosts our immune system and helps in fighting against several bacterial, viral and fungal infections. It also improves the wound healing capacity of the body.
Red cabbage is rich source of vitamin A, C and K along with good concentration of antioxidants. Like strawberries and raspberries it gets its red colour due to presence of anthocyanin.
Anthocyanin is the group of antioxidants which helps in preventing several health conditions such as high blood pressure, high level of bad cholesterol (LDL), heart diseases and even cancer.
As per FRAP analysis the average concentration of antioxidants in red cabbage is 2.2 mmol per grams 100 grams however, its amount of consumption may help in providing enough antioxidants to our body.
In addition to this the presence of vitamin C in red cabbage provides antioxidants and boosts our immune system and helps in fighting against several bacterial, viral and fungal infections. It also improves the wound healing capacity of the body.
It contains four times the antioxidants present in regular cabbage. Moreover, the cooking of red cabbage also improves its antioxidants profile however steaming may reduce antioxidants by 35 % in red cabbage.
Artichokes are good source of essential vitamins and minerals. It is rich source of dietary fibre which helps in metabolism and prevents several gastrointestinal disorders.
It is not very common veggies consumed by the people however its essential ingredients are required for the proper functioning of the body. The several health benefits of artichokes consumptions are:
- Reduced risk of heart diseases
- Reduced risk of high blood pressure
- Prevents liver diseases
- Improves metabolism
- Avoids gastrointestinal disorders.
As per the FARP analysis the average concentration of antioxidants is 4.7 mmol per 100 grams of artichokes which is far better than sever sources of antioxidants.
The antioxidants presenting artichokes helps in reducing the bad cholesterol (LDL) in body and improves the vascular health and avoid any condition of high blood pressure which may result in heart failure.
Above all these there are other benefits which is related to the way of cooking artichokes. Steaming of artichokes may increase antioxidants effectiveness by 15 times and boiling by 8 times.
Beans are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals along with antioxidant properties. It is also the rich source of dietary fibre which is essential for the gastrointestinal health.
As per the FRAP analysis the average concentration of antioxidants is 2 mmol per 100 grams of the beans. Beans can be consumed in the form of legumes and veggies which provides good concentration of antioxidants.
Some of the beans contains kaempferol which is the group of antioxidants helps in preventing chronic inflammation and suppress cancers. The preliminary studies on animals shows the effectiveness of kaempferol.
However more studies need to be carried out to sees the effects of kaempferol on human body. The other essential vitamins and minerals improves the functionality of human cells, tissues and organs.
Antioxidants are important for maintaining proper function of the human body and its chief sources are fruits, vegetables, buts and beans. It helps in preventing against several ill effects caused by accretion of free radical in the body and boosts our immune system. We should regular consume antioxidants rich foods in order to meet its daily requirement. “Eat Healthy Stay Healthy”.