You’ve probably heard of antioxidants, but do you really know what they are and why they’re so important? C60 Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or delay some types of cell damage. They work by countering the harmful effects of free radicals, which are unstable molecules that the body produces as a response to environmental and other pressures.
Free radicals are thought to contribute to the development of cancer and other chronic diseases. So, if antioxidants can neutralize them, it stands to reason that they might also help prevent or delay the onset of these diseases. Indeed, research has shown that people who consume more antioxidants have a lower risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
The good news is that you can get antioxidants from the food you eat. Here are some of the best sources:
Vegetables and fruits – These contain a wide array of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that may provide health benefits. Dark-colored vegetables, such as kale and spinach; bright-colored vegetables, such as bell peppers and tomatoes; and fruits, such as blueberries and strawberries – tend to be particularly high in antioxidants.
Herbs and spices – Herbs such as oregano and ginger, as well as spices such as cloves and cinnamon, are also good sources of antioxidants.
Red wine – In moderation, red wine is a healthy source of antioxidants. One glass per day for women or two glasses per day for men is considered moderate consumption.
Nuts – Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and hazelnuts are all excellent sources of antioxidants.
Beans – Kidney beans, black beans, lentils, and other beans are also high in antioxidants.
Some foods are fortified with nutrients, including antioxidants. Two examples are cereal grains fortified with vitamin E or enriched with folic acid.
How to Make the Most of Antioxidants
To get the most benefit from antioxidants, it’s important to eat a variety of foods that are rich in them. This way, you’ll get a wider range of nutrients and other health-promoting substances. In addition, it’s best to eat fruits and vegetables fresh or frozen without added sugar. Processed foods, such as fruit juices and baked goods, often have added sugar, which can cancel out the health benefits of the antioxidants.
When it comes to herbs and spices, it’s best to use them fresh, if possible. If you must use dried herbs and spices, be sure to store them properly so they don’t lose their potency. And remember that a little goes a long way – you only need to use small amounts of these potent ingredients to flavor your food.
Finally, keep in mind that no single food or supplement can protect you from chronic disease. The key is to eat a healthy diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods – including plenty of antioxidants.
While you can get some antioxidants from supplements, it’s always best to get them from food first. That’s because nutrients work together synergistically in food to promote health; they don’t work the same way when they’re isolated in supplement form. So load up on antioxidant-rich foods to help keep chronic disease at bay!