Antioxidants are the best thing to scavenge free radicals. A free radical is a molecule with a free electron in its orbit. To become stable, it strips an electron from another molecule. An accumulation of free radicals in the body can have disastrous effects on your health. Free-radical accumulation blocks effects of enzymes, disturbs the protein synthesis (essential to repair our DNA), oxidizes our antibodies, accelerates ageing (including skin ageing), increases the risk of cells death, oxidizes LDL (bad) cholesterol which leads to stiffening of arteries and increases chronic inflammation.
How do free radicals work?
First, it’s important to know that’s impossible to get rid of all free radicals. Those molecules are produced within the body. When a free radical strips an electron to a second molecule, the first molecule, once a free radical, is now stable. But the second molecule, the one with the stripped electron, is now becoming a free radical itself. So molecules in the body are juggling with electrons, creating and stabilizing free radicals. It’s the accumulation of those molecules that creates problems.
How to protect us from free radicals?
They key is to always give fresh new molecules from which free radicals can strip an electron. The juggling must not stop. For that we have to supply our body with we call antioxidants.
Here’s my top 10 antioxidant-rich foods list
Blueberries: Blueberries are rich in both antioxidant and fiber. Blueberries contain greater antioxidants than most of other fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids antioxidants found in blueberries fights free radicals linked to heart diseases and cancer boost your brainpower.
Green tea: Green tea contains specific antioxidants called EGCG. This antioxidant is only found in green tea and helps to slow down ageing process. Green tea also help to lower cancer risks, help fight colds and contribute to stronger bones.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes, as well as other red colored foods are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that naturally protects the skin from sun damage. But more than protecting you against skin cancer, lycopene also helps to cut the risks of other forms of cancer and heart diseases. To get the most of the lycopene is to eat cooked tomatoes with a bit of olive oil.
Red wine: Red wine is the only alcohol that has some health benefits that somewhat offsets the bad sides. Red wine has a special antioxidant called resveratrol. This is one of the most potent of all antioxidants, making read wine good for heart health. Don’t drink more than one glass for women and two glasses for men as more than that will transform the health benefits into health damaging compounds.
Strawberries: Strawberries offers cancer protective antioxidants and promote heart health. Strawberries are also shows great anti-inflammatory effects
Cinnamon: Cinnamon is one of the best ways to naturally control cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels. Antioxidants found in cinnamon shows to reduce bad cholesterol and triglycerides by up to 30%, which is comparable with the effects of statin drugs. Cinnamon also cuts blood sugar by 20% to 30%, making it a great way to naturally control diabetes.
Beans: Red beans and black beans brings more antioxidants per serving that most fruits and vegetables. On top of that, beans also bring fiber, protein, calcium and vitamins to help you stay healthy.
Pomegranate: Antioxidants found in pomegranate shows wonderful results at fighting heart diseases. The most potent antioxidant compounds, punicalagins, also have beneficial effects on LDL cholesterol and plaque buildup. The best way to get the most antioxidants is to drink pomegranate juice over eating the fruit.
Citrus fruits: citrus fruits such as lemon, grapefruit and oranges are a great way to boost the antioxidants in your diet. The vitamin C effect of those fruits is greater than any supplements.
Dark chocolate: Flavonoids in cacao are a potent antioxidant. Dark chocolate, the one with over 70% of cacao, can be a delicious way to get beneficial effects from flavonoids.