Perfect foods that are most rich in antioxidants help slow premature aging and protect you from diseases like cancer. The reason is that they block free radicals in the body, substances that, in excess, can be very harmful.
Antioxidants And Free Radicals
Free radicals are substances necessary for the organism since they carry out certain metabolic reactions. Therefore, what is important is that they are controlled and can be neutralized by the antioxidant mechanisms of the organism or from the diet.
- Each of our cells includes molecules and atoms, which, in turn, are made up of subatomic particles called neutrons, protons, and electrons. The latter is responsible for forming the bonds between the other atoms to form more complex molecules finally. That is how free radicals are produced.
- The electrons of an atom are gathered in pairs. However, for different reasons, they can become unpaired. When this happens, they need to steal an electron to stabilize themselves, thus forming a new pair of electrons.
- When an electron is ‘stolen’ from a molecule, it becomes a free radical, which will try to react with another molecule, thus causing a chain reaction that damages cells.
- At this point appear antioxidants, substances capable of preventing the ‘theft’ of an electron (oxidation).
Although cellular oxidation is a natural process that accompanies the aging of the body, there are habits and external factors that can enhance its production. These are some of the most relevant: smoking, drinking alcohol, sunbathing excessively, environmental pollution, infections, and exposure to toxic substances.
Diet is one of the ways to provide the body with antioxidants to deal with free radicals generated by internal and external factors. Discover the foods with the most antioxidants –vitamins A, C, and E, selenium, zinc, or beta-carotene– that you can include in your diet.
Foods With The Most Antioxidants
The high content of vitamins C and E and the abundance of lycopene in tomatoes make this food an important source of antioxidants. Vitamin C favors iron absorption from food and increases resistance against infections.
Like all green leafy vegetables, spinach is one of the important foods with antioxidants. In this case, the nutrients provided by this vegetable are provitamin A and vitamins C and E, all of which have antioxidant action.
Provitamin A is essential for vision, good skin condition, hair, mucous membranes, bones, and proper immune system functioning.
Its antioxidant power is due to both its vitamin C and beta-carotene content, substances to which it also owes its orange color.
Although the orange is, for most, the paradigm of the source of vitamin C, the truth is that it is not the fruit that provides the most this micronutrient since several exceed it, such as kiwi, strawberries, or papaya.
Although eggs are much better known for their protein content, it has recently been discovered that they also have important antioxidant properties.
Scientists determined that egg yolks contain two amino acids, tryptophan and tyrosine, which have high antioxidant properties.
This vegetable is one of the ones with the highest antioxidant capacity. It is due to its content of sulfur compounds, among which sulforaphane, vitamin C, glucosinolates, isothiocyanates, and indoles stand out.
The best way to take benefit of the multiple benefits of broccoli is to prepare it raw or steamed for a short time since, otherwise, it can lose a large part of its compounds and properties.
Salmon contains astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant that takes care of the good condition of cells, skin, and eyesight. A balanced diet that includes salmon regularly (a couple of times a week) can help you have younger and healthier skin.
The nuts with the most antioxidants and the best quality are walnuts, as revealed by a study from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. The antioxidants in the walnuts were between two and 15 times more potent than vitamin E. You can easily include them in the diet as part of a salad, a dessert, or for breakfast.
8. Green Peas
They are usually the accompaniment of meats and vegetables. However, peas undoubtedly deserve to become the main dish, and we take advantage of their valuable nutritional properties, such as their antioxidant power.
The nutritional composition of peas stands out for their vitamin C and E content. They also provide alpha-carotene and beta-carotene.
Among the many nutritional qualities of sardines, we find their ability to slow down cellular anti-aging. Its contribution to vitamin E and zinc makes it one of the fish with the greatest antioxidant power. If they are very small, it is best to cook them scrambled once the bones have been removed. And if they are big, they will be delicious on the grill.
Avocado is a great antioxidant thanks to its provitamin A and vitamin E content. According to a study, the antioxidants in this fruit help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol. Just 100 g of avocado already provides us with the necessary daily dose of vitamin E.
Blueberries have a particularly high level of anthocyanins, micronutrients with strong antioxidant action that helps reduce inflammation. It improves metabolic function and increases energy production within cells.
A study has shown that adding blueberries to the daily diet can reduce the risk of dementia in old age.
According to a study, in addition to their protein and fiber content, oats are a cereal rich in vitamin E, selenium, and polyphenols, compounds with antioxidant function.
Oats are a very versatile food in the kitchen. You can use it as an ingredient for sweet and savory recipes. One of the most attractive options is the porridge with fruit.