Antioxidants play a key role in human health. These compounds delay aging and boost your body’s natural ability to fight free radical damage. They are especially good for your immune system and may help prevent cancer, cardiovascular problems, colds, flu, and viral infections. Most antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables. Research indicates that blue, purple, red, and orange foods pack the most powerful antioxidant punch. This includes blueberries cranberries, oranges, cherries, tomatoes, and leafy greens. Seafood, fish, and meat contain small amounts of antioxidants too.
Here are top five high-antioxidant fruits that should be on your shopping list:
Blueberries have the highest antioxidant content of all fruits. Their delicious flavor is an added bonus. These tiny fruits reduce inflammation in the body, protect cells from damage, and reduce cancer risk. They also protect you from chronic diseases and slow the aging process. The most powerful antioxidants in blueberries are quercentin, anthocyanins and vitamin C.
Antioxidants in cranberries such anthocyanidin, cyanidin, peonidin and quercetin may prevent cardiovascular disease by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels in the blood. Research studies show that cranberry juice consumption can also have anti-bacterial anti-inflammatory effects. Further more, these berries are also good source of many vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, ß-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin, folate and minerals like potassium, and manganese.
With only 50 calories per serving, strawberries will delight your taste buds without adding inches on your waist. One cup provides more vitamin C than a medium orange.
Rich in antioxidants, these fruits can strengthen your immune system, lower bad cholesterol levels, and improve cardiovascular health. A recent study indicates that strawberries increase the antioxidant levels in blood, which helps prevent chronic diseases. To reap their benefits, eat them raw, toss a handful over your breakfast cereals, or mix them in your favorite smoothie.
Prunes are the dried versions of European plums. These sweet and chewy fruits are not only fun to eat but they are also very nutritious. They are rich in vitamin C and support iron absorption in the body. Soluble fiber in prunes helps normalize blood sugar levels by slowing the rate at which food leaves the stomach and by delaying the absorption of glucose following a meal. They also prevent constipation and lower cholesterol levels by binding to bile acids (compounds manufactured by the liver from cholesterol, their job is fat digestion) and removing them from the body.
Red Delicious and Granny Smith apples boast a high antioxidant value and contain large amounts of fiber. When consumed as part of a balanced diet, they help prevent and repair oxidation damage, protect against Parkinson’s disease, and reduce tooth decay. Due to their high content of flavonoids, red apples lower your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by 23 percent. People who eat these fruits regularly are 15 percent less likely to develop cataracts. Rich in quercentin, red apples boost your immune system, detoxify your liver, and prevent coronary artery disease.