What are “Antioxidant rich foods” and why they are important?
To know this, the first thing you should be knowing is “What Are Antioxidants?”
In the recent past, the role of vegetables and fruits as sources of antioxidants has been receiving considerable attention. Antioxidants restrict the damage that reactive oxygen free radicals can cause to the cell and cellular components.
What Do Antioxidants Do?
They are of primary biological value in giving protection from certain diseases. Some of the diseases that have their origin in deleterious free radical reactions are atherosclerosis, cancer, inflammatory joint diseases, asthma, diabetes etc.
Common Antioxidant rich foods and their food sources
Raw and fresh vegetables like green leafy vegetables, carrots, fresh fruits including citrus and tomatoes have been identified as good sources of antioxidants (free radicalscavengers). The nutrients vitamin C and carotenoids that are present in these vegetables are also potential antioxidants. Different colored vegetable provide different antioxidants like orange colored provide beta-carotene, red provide lycopene, deep red provide betalines, blue and purple provide anthocynins.
Vitamin A & Carotenoids:
Carrots, squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peaches and apricots (bright-colour fruits and vegetables!)
Citrus fruits like oranges and lime etc, green peppers, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, strawberries and tomatoes.
Nuts & seeds, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and vegetable oil
Fish & shellfish, red meat, grains, eggs, chicken and garlic
- Flavonoids including:
Isoflavones – soy beans, tofu, lentils, peas and milk
Flavonols – citrus fruits, red wine, onions and apples
Catechins – tea, green tea, cocoa, dark chocolate
Anthocyanins – berries, red wine
- Phenolics including:
Chlorogenic acid – instant and brewed coffee
Cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage
It is easy to get enough antioxidants by choosing a balanced diet rich in colourful fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
The antioxidant food sources content referred from – Nestle