What are Antioxidants?
The word Antioxidant is composed of two words, “Anti” + “Oxidant.” Anti means opposite and Oxidants are the free radicals that are present in the environment and play a significant role in damaging the cells of our body. So now I guess it’s quite understandable that Antioxidants help to prevent or curb cell damage caused by oxidants. The best possible solution is to include antioxidant-rich food in your diet. But that’s not easy because we need to maintain a balance of antioxidant to oxidant in our diet.
So let’s talk about the antioxidant rich foods in all categories – fruits, vegetables and dry-fruits which are rich in antioxidants.
Top 10 fruits rich in antioxidant
Antioxidant rich foods – First let us talk about fruits category
|Wild Blueberries||It is richest of all the fruits when it comes to antioxidants. It is hard to believe, but one cup of blueberries have approximately 13,427 total antioxidants including vitamin A, C, and flavonoids which are much more than the quantity recommended by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).This magical fruit will protect you against cancer and heart disease and also it will strengthen your immune system.||ORAC: 4,669 μ mol TE/100g|
|Strawberry||Add another berry to this list of antioxidant rich fruits. Strawberry is everyone’s favorite, and the good thing is that apart from being tasty it is a good source of antioxidants. The anthocyanins which impart red color to strawberry protect us from various cardiovascular diseases by fighting with carcinogens. Even our body absorbs the antioxidant present in strawberry, efficiently.||ORAC: 4,302 μ mol TE/100g|
|Red Raspberry||Raspberry is a fruit which has an ideal amount of antioxidants. The quantity of Vitamin C, quercetin, and gallic acid present in it play a significant role in protecting us from heart diseases, cancer, and age-related problems. In fact, the ketone present in raspberry is used in Japan as a supplement for weight loss.||ORAC: 5,065 μ mol TE/100g|
|Blackberries||Blackberries have the highest amount of antioxidants when compared to other fruits. They have a large quantity of gallic acid, rutin and ellagic acid which are known to provide blackberries, antiviral and anti-bacterial properties. Also, vitamin C and fibre present in it will guard you against cancer.
And if you are health conscious then here is good news for you, Blackberries are low in calories, carbohydrates, and fat and this is why every dietician recommends you add it in your diet chart.
|ORAC: 5,905 μ mol TE/100g|
|Plums||From the different varieties of plums available in market find the one which is black in colour. They are rich in vitamin C and phenols and have a considerable amount of vitamin C and phenols, curbs swelling and tissue inflammation. In fact, it has few antioxidants which prevent DNA damage and cell degradation. The dry one have slightly more amount of antioxidants.||ORAC: 6,100 μ mol TE/100g|
|Oranges||This is a sweet fruit loved by almost everyone whether eaten in raw form or the form of juice. And it is a good thing to know that orange is included in this list of antioxidant rich fruits. This citrus fruit is rich in vitamin C, which fights against free radicals and protects your body cells from any damage. Not only this, it even protects our immune system, protect us from cold and ear infection and is also known to lower the risk of arthritis. But the most important thing to focus upon is that the peel of orange has an excessive amount of antioxidants as compared to the flesh.||ORAC: 2,103 μ mol TE/100g|
|Grapes||Grapes are an excellent source of antioxidant, but not just any grapes; it should be red seedless grapes. The red grapes are rich in antioxidant polyphenols which prevent many types of cancer and protect us from any heart disease. Its skin has resveratrol, an antioxidant which fights cancer. Also, the fibre and potassium contained in it guard us against any heart-related issues and constipation as well. Any diabetic person can also get its benefit because it is known to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 7%||ORAC: 1,837 μ mol TE/100g|
|Cherries||It is a sweet and sour fruit that does wonders. I never thought a small fruit like cherry could be so useful. The antioxidant present in it contains helps us to sleep, reduce the cholesterol level and reduces the risk of strokes. The melatonin present in it protects our skin from harmful ultraviolet radiations. Also, the amount of flavonoid, iso quercetin, and quercetin present in cherries slows down the aging process. Isn’t that great?||ORAC: 3,747 μ mol TE/100g|
|Mangoes||Mango right called as King of Fruits, and in fact, King of everyone’s heart has an abundant amount of Vitamin A and flavonoids imparting good vision and healthy as well as glowing skin to us. It is Mangifera indica L. pulp’s that is known to be a rich source of antioxidant. Phenolic, carotenoids, and ascorbic acid are considered as a source of antioxidant in mango.||ORAC: 1,300 μ mol TE/100g|
|Red Delicious Apple||It has antioxidants in such a large quantity that you can even call it as the powerhouse of antioxidants.This antioxidant fruit can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Also, the peel of the apple is richer in antioxidant as compared to the flesh, so it is recommended to eat the apple along with the peel itself.||ORAC: 4,275 μ mol TE/100g|
Top 10 Vegetables rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidant rich foods – Now let us discuss about vegetables that are super rich in anti-oxidants
|Kale||Kale has an unbelievable amount of flavonoid which is 45 and therefore it is considered to be a rich source of antioxidant. Two of the most important flavonoids are quercetin and kaempferol. When it comes to fighting against cancer, Kale is very much sufficient on its own.||ORAC: 1,770 μ mol TE/100g|
|Spinach||We have been told since ages that spinach is good for our health, and now maybe you will realize its importance. Spinach is a good source of beta- carotene which protects us from cancer, heart-related issues, and aging effects and prevents macular degeneration. The lutein present in it keeps our eyes healthy.||ORAC: 1,513 μ mol TE/100g|
|Broccoli||It is packed with antioxidants carotenoids, flavonoids and vitamin C. Apart from these, the antioxidant which plays an important role and which provides a unique function to Broccoli is indole-3-carbinol, which inhibits the outgrowth of prostate, breast and cervical cancer. Also, it promotes liver to work properly.||ORAC: 1,510 μ mol TE/100g|
|Brussels Sprouts||It is a storehouse of many antioxidants like vitamins C and A. Apart from them; it also has isothiocyanates which hinder the path of carcinogens, cancer causing chemicals. It has been studied that consumption of Brussels sprouts will guard you against gene damage. So make sure to add them in your diet chart.||ORAC: 1,330 μ mol TE/100g|
|Beets||They are not just rich in antioxidant, but they have an unusual mix of antioxidant. The colour, red of beets is because of betalain antioxidant pigment which has anti-inflammatory effects. Coupled with other antioxidants like manganese and vitamin C, improve your eye health as well. It also protects from cancer.||ORAC: 1,776 μ mol TE/100g|
|Onions||Veggie that not only provides flavour to food but also provides you sufficient amount of antioxidants. It contains quercetin, a flavonoid which inhibits low-density lipoprotein oxidation. It also contains vitamin C, manganese, and anthocyanin flavonoids. Also, it is recommended to eat it in raw form, without cooking. One thing to notice in the case onions is that antioxidants can be found in any variety of onion whether it is green, red, yellow or white.||ORAC: 1,521 μ mol TE/100g|
|Bell Pepper||When talking about vegetables rich in antioxidant how can we forget to mention the exceptional richness of vitamin C in red bell pepper. It also has phytochemicals and carotenoids, which provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. So apart from offering the unique taste in pizza, it is good for our health as well. The presence of vitamin E nourishes our hair and makes them look beautiful.||ORAC: 935 μ mol TE/100g|
|Alfalfa sprouts||They are so tiny that the benefits it provides us will amaze you. It is very rich in beta-carotene and therefore it protects us from lung cancer. But the list of advantages doesn’t end here. It defends us from bladder cancer, heart diseases, and strokes. Also if you want to have healthy skin, hair, nails, gums, glands, bones, and teeth, then you can consider Alfalfa sprouts as a solution.||ORAC: 1,510 μ mol TE/100g|
|Eggplant||Several servings of eggplant each week is sufficient to lower your risk of build-up of heart-threatening plaque in artery walls. It also helps to reduce the cholesterol level as well as the potential for high blood pressure. Also, the anthocyanin a potent antioxidant protects the brain cell membranes.||ORAC: 245 μ mol TE/100g|
|Corn||The appeal of Corn goes way beyond its taste because it has something more that its taste to offer. Yes, that is some antioxidants. All variety of corn has some or the other antioxidant present in it. From lutein to zeaxanthin to anthocyanins to beta-carotene it has sufficient amount of antioxidant compounds. It also fights blindness in adults.||ORAC: 10,800 μ mol TE/100g|
Top 10 dry-fruits rich in antioxidant
|Raisin||They serve antioxidants in low quantity but however if they are doing something good for your health then there is no harm in consuming them. They pack anthocyanins which help to build and keep our bones healthy.||ORAC: 3,406 μ mol TE/100g|
|Prunes||Don’t know what Prunes are? They are dried plums which are considered as the powerhouse of antioxidants.Prunes offer a very good source of fibre, and therefore they reduce the risk of breast cancer and prevent cardiovascular disease as well as diabetes.||ORAC: 8,059 μ mol TE/100g|
|Dates||A sweet dry fruit which is a good source of health supportive antioxidants like flavonoid polyphenolic called tannins which have anti-inflammatory, anti-hemorrhagic, and anti-infective properties. The vitamin A present is known to be healthy for our eyes. Also, Dates possess ß-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin which guard us against different types of cancers.||ORAC: 2,387 μ mol TE/100g|
|Figs||It is a storehouse of powerful antioxidants. When compared to others they are densest in phenolic antioxidants. The antioxidants that they possess can protect lipoproteins in the blood from oxidation. High levels of flavonoid quercetin can protect from colon and lung cancer.||ORAC: 3,383 μ mol TE/100g|
|Almonds||They are good for our brain, but apart from that, they are a rich source of antioxidants like vitamin E, which keeps our skin healthy and reduces the signs of aging. The flavonol antioxidants, like quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin that fights skin cancer. It has gamma-tocopherol which is a type of vitamin E, and it again helps in combating carcinogens.||ORAC: 4,454 μ mol TE/100g|
|Cashew Nuts||Cashew Nuts are packed with lutein and zeaxanthin which protects our eyes from damage and can reduce the risk of cataract as well. It has also been studied that it protects an individual from cardiovascular disease. The copper present in it eliminates free radicals and helps in developing the bones of our body.||ORAC: 1,948 μ mol TE/100g|
|Pistachio||Pistachio with an impressive amount of flavonoids in it has anti-inflammatory properties as well.But one thing that you might not like about pistachio is that it has fat in it, and you might gain weight. However, when taken in right quantity, it will do no harm to you.||ORAC: 7,675 μ mol TE/100g|
|Walnuts||They are rightly called as superheroes of nuts when it comes to antioxidant. Studies have shown that a gram of walnuts has 70 units of polyphenols. They protect us from various health issues like cancer, heart disease, premature aging and cell death.||ORAC: 13,541 μ mol TE/100g|
|Peanuts||Peanuts are an excellent source of antioxidant, isoflavones which are known to reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and coronary heart diseases. However, it is effective only when consumed after boiling, in raw, roasted or in peanut butter form it is not known to show impressive results.||ORAC: 3,166 μ mol TE/100g|
|Apricots||They contain potent antioxidants like vitamin A and Vitamin C. Also they are rich in flavonoids thereby decreasing the risk of heart disease. They even protect your site and have anti-inflammatory properties, Other antioxidants that can be found in apricots are Quercetin, Proanthocyanidins, Gallic acid, Caffeic acid, and Catechins.||ORAC: 1,110 μ mol TE/100g|
Now after going through this list, you might have got to know, how important these fruits, vegetables and dry fruits are for your body. These antioxidant rich foods are essential for your health. So without thinking much start consuming them to gain maximum benefits.
References – List of antioxidants in food
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