7 Natural Antioxidant Super Foods That Will Prevent Free Radical Damage

Antioxidants are natural substances that have an extremely important role in maintaining our health.

We bring antioxidants to the body through food. They play an important role in building the organism.

The richest sources of these nutrients are fresh fruits and vegetables, mostly yellow, orange, red, purple and blue ones.

Antioxidants can help reduce the risk of many diseases:

  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis and Rheumatism
  • Heart and circulatory system diseases
  • Cancer
  • Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Skin diseases
  • Premature aging
  • Depression

Regular consumption of antioxidant foods is one of the best ways to prevent many diseases, but also to preserve your vitality, youthful appearance and good mood.

The role of antioxidants

The most important role of antioxidants is to prevent and relieve oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress causes the release of large amounts of free radicals that are formed as a byproduct of the oxidation process.

The cells of our body use oxygen to live, this is where free radicals are created.

They attack healthy cells in our body and eventually cause their damage.

As a result, many diseases can occur, deterioration and rapid aging of cells or whole organism.

According to scientific studies, harmful effects of free radicals are associated with more than 50 different diseases.

Here are the most common:

  • Various types of cancer
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatic diseases
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Muscle wasting
  • Premature aging

“Antioxidants “clean” free radicals and block their demolition march to protect our body.”

The increased risk of oxidative stress, and therefore the need for increased intake of antioxidants, have elderly people, chronically ill and smokers.

The Most Important Antioxidants

Each antioxidant in some way contributes to maintaining a healthy body.

However, some are better then others in terms of strength and benefits. Which is why regular consumption of antioxidant rich foods is of great importance to your body.

The best sources of these essential substances are natural – organic fruits and vegetables.

It should be noted that the way of growing and preserving vegetables and fruits greatly influences the amount of antioxidants.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is definitely one of the leading health guards.

It has a strong role in strengthening the immune system and the prevention, mitigation and treatment of many diseases.

It helps with fatigue, low immunity, respiratory diseases, intestinal disorders, gastric disorders, and in more severe diseases such as scurvy, heart and blood vessel diseases.

It’s responsible for the formation of collagen, which is of great importance for the development and regeneration of tissues, blood vessels, teeth and bones.

Where to find it?

Vitamin C is abundantly present in citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, as well as in nectarines, strawberries, kiwi and most berries.

Vegetables that are rich in vitamin C: kale, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, peas, potatoes, and most of the green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is necessary for the proper functioning of many organs in the body.

It helps with the prevention and alleviation of numerous health problems, such as cataracts, asthma, respiratory infections, skin diseases, skin aging, sunburn, cystic fibrosis, infertility, impotence, chronic fatigue syndrome, peptic ulcer disease.

Contributes to the prevention of heart and blood vessel disease, including heart attack and high blood pressure.

It’s also used for treatment of diabetes and for prevention of cancer, in particular lung, colon, stomach, and prostate.

The effects of this vitamin are associated with reduced risk of developing diseases of the brain and nervous system, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, nocturnal spasms, restless leg syndrome, and even epilepsy.

It’s of great benefit to women because it relieves painful menstruation, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopausal symptoms.

Vitamin E is also used to increase energy, improve physical endurance and muscle strength.

Where to find it?

This powerful antioxidant is abundantly present in wheat germ, sunflower seeds, and vegetable oils such as olive, corn and soy.

Large amounts can be found in spinach, and in fruits such as kiwi, avocado, mango, and in nuts such as hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds.

Lycopene

Lycopene is also a member of the carotenoid family. Concentrations are high particularly in tomatoes and other tomato products.

It’s can be helpful for prevention of skin diseases and diseases of the heart and blood vessels.

In recent years, it has been proven, that lycopene acts as a prevention of cancer, especially prostate, lung, bladder, skin and digestive tract cancer.

Where to find it?

In addition to tomatoes, the carotenoid can be found in large quantities in watermelon, red grapefruit, and guava fruit.

Beta-carotene

Beta-carotene (provitamin of vitamin A, ie. Retinol) is a carotenoid pigment plant yellow to red in color.

In large quantities it’s present in yellow and orange fruits, and in dark green leafy vegetables.

Like other antioxidants it contributes to mitigating damage caused by free radicals.

Studies have shown to be extremely effective in strengthening the immune system and reducing the risk of development of heart disease and cancer.

It is important for maintaining health of lungs, intestines, urinary tract, thyroid, skin and mucous membranes, and it also helps with gastritis, cataracts and the degeneration of macula.

Where to find it?

Foods rich in beta-carotene include asparagus, pumpkin, squash, corn, potatoes, carrots, chard, kale, spinach, tomatoes, parsley, chives, apples, pears, melons, avocados, mangoes, apricots, nectarines, peaches, tangerines, grapefruit and watermelons.

Selenium

Selenium is a mineral with powerful antioxidant properties contributes to the proper functioning of the whole organism.

It’s important for maintaining healthy cognitive function, healthy immune system and fertility of men and women.

It also helps in maintaining the health of the heart, and it’s responsible for youthful skin appearance.

Contributes to reducing the inflammatory process but can be of great help for patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

A study done in Netherlands has linked selenium intake with lower risk of some types of cancers, especially prostate cancer.

Where to find it?

Some of the best sources of selenium are: Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, whole grains, mushrooms, dates, bananas, raisins and berries.

Lutein

Lutein is another powerful carotenoid that plays an important role in protecting health of the eyes.

It helps are have more clear vision, strengthens the eye tissue and reduces eye fatigue and sensitivity to light.

It’s an excellent natural treatment for macular degeneration, which is considered to be the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.

Studies have shown that a combination of lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamin E is associated with reduced risk of cataract formation.

In addition, the antioxidant preserves the health of the skin and prevents the onset of diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Where to find it?

Lutein can be found in large quantities in the following foods: kale, turnips, collards, spinach, green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, corn, zucchini, carrots, oranges, papayas, avocados.

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that helps stimulate the activity of over 100 different enzymes. It is responsible for a large number of other functions in the body.

Zinc takes care of the immune system and it assists the liver with elimination of toxic substances from the body.

Reduces the risk of inflammatory diseases, osteoporosis, pneumonia, and age-related macular degeneration and loss of vision.

Research conducted at the University of Toronto that has been published in the journal Neuron, confirms that zinc plays an important role in regulating the mutual communication of neurons, which affect our learning, memory and concentration processes.

According to some studies, lack of zinc can be associated with risk of male infertility.

Zinc contributes to the prevention of acne, wound healing and general health of the skin.

Where to find it?

Zinc is present in spinach, beans, peas, pumpkin seeds, garlic, cheese, whole grains, nuts and peanuts.

Lisa Watson

Hey there! I'm Lisa, a health & fitness enthusiast. I am thrilled to be your guide on journey of transforming your lifestyle into a more healthier one. I will give my best to help you improve your eating and exercise habits in order to achieve your weight goals. Remember, the greatest wealth is out health!

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