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Antioxidant foods are treasured for their ability to fight disease, cancer, and aging. In this article, we will examine the top ten foods with highest antioxidant capacity:
|Rank||Food item||Serving size||Total antioxidant capacity
per serving size
|1||Small Red Bean (dried)||Half cup||13,727|
|2||Wild blueberry||1 cup||13,427|
|3||Red kidney bean (dried)||Half cup||13,259|
|4||Pinto bean||Half cup||11,864|
|5||Blueberry (cultivated)||1 cup||9,019|
|6||Cranberry||1 cup (whole)||8,983|
|7||Artichoke (cooked)||1 cup (hearts)||7,904|
But, what are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are man-made or natural substances that may prevent, delay, or repair certain types of cell damage. They are found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables, and also available as dietary supplements. Examples of antioxidants include beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
Small red beans
Beans contain eight flavonoids, plant substances that give many fruits and vegetables their colors. Scientists say these plant chemicals act as antioxidants to give you some protection against heart disease and certain cancers.
Blueberries are full of anthocyanins, a healthy plant chemical that gives them that beautiful blue color, and also provide some protection against heart disease. Some research also indicates that blueberries may have a positive effect on improving night vision and reducing blood glucose levels.
Red kidney beans
Red kidney beans are packed with protein, fiber, folate (vitamin B12), magnesium, potassium, and a number of other health promoting nutrients. The high amount of folate from red kidney beans, in particular, promotes excellent cardiovascular health!
In addition to health benefits of pinto beans related to heart disease and cancer, studies also suggest eating beans may help manage diabetes and cut the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
Blueberries contain no fat or cholesterol. They’re high in fiber and low in calories, and they make a great snack alone or as an additive to a cup of plain non-fat Greek yogurt.
It has been known for a while that cranberries prevent harmful bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract, thus cutting down on the possibility of infections.
Artichokes are low in calories and sodium, and packed with vitamin C, folate, and fiber. They also have phytonutrients that work to protect against many health risks including cancer, heart disease, liver dysfunction, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
This fruit is packed with anthocyanins, plant chemicals that gives them their deep color and act as antioxidants. Blackberries are rich in vitamin C and fiber!
Prunes are a good source of Vitamin A, an essential nutrient. They also are high in fiber, as well as beneficial in reducing the risk of colorectal cancer, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, diabetes, and diverticulitis.
This fruit helps fight inflammation and has been used to reduce arthritis-related pain. Raspberries are high in polyphenolic compounds, plant chemicals that act as powerful antioxidants that fight cardiovascular disease and cancer.
In summary, it is important to eat foods with antioxidants to help defend against free radicals. Free radicals, as you may have heard, can cause damage to cellular DNA. Eating antioxidant foods, however, gives you the protection you need to combat this damage.
“Antioxidants.” (2014, June 6). MedlinePlus. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/antioxidants.html.
Donaldson, D. (2009). Top 10 antioxidant foods. Better Homes & Gardens Network. Retrieved from http://www.hearthealthyonline.com/healthy-recipes/cooking-nutrition-tips/antioxidant-foods_1.html.
Eder, C. (2011, Nov). The amazing artichoke. Life Extension Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2011/nov2011_The-Amazing-Artichoke_01.htm.
“Health benefits of eating red kidney beans.” (2014). HealthWithFood.org. Retrieved from http://www.healwithfood.org/health-benefits/red-kidney-beans.php.http://www.hearthealthyonline.com/healthy-recipes/cooking-nutrition-tips/antioxidant-foods_1.html.
“Prunes rank #1 in antioxidant activity.” (2000). Stapleton-Spence Packing Co. Retrieved from http://www.stapleton-spence.com/nutrition/dried-plums-or-prunes-rank-1-in-antioxidant-activity.
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