Antioxidants: What are they ?
Antioxidants are free radical scavengers known to enhance our immunity. We know that fruits and vegetables with vibrant colors are great sources of antioxidants. Many times we wish that foods that taste delicious were as healthy as these fruits and veggies. Here is something to cheer you up. The foods listed below are not only tasty but also rich in antioxidants.
Antioxidants and their sources
- Eggs: Egg yolk contains an antioxidants called “lutein”. Lutein is known to prevent muscular degeneration and cataracts. Though the lutein content in yolk is lesser than the lutein content of the green leafy veggies, but according to some studies the lutein from yolk is more effectively absorbed due to the fat content of the yolk.
- Tinned beans: Tinned beans contains phytochemicals. Phytochemicals repair damaged DNA and also neutralize free radicals. Small red beans, dark kidney beans and black beans are rich in antioxidants. You can now enjoy your baked beans with a touch of health.
- Whole grain pasta/noodles: These whole grain dishes contain polyphenols. Polyphenols are strong anti-cancerous elements. Whole grain pasta and noodles contain 3 to 4 times more antioxidants than the regular ones. In combination to antioxidants these foods also contain good amount of fiber that help in regulating cholesterol levels.
- Yogurt: There is an additional health benefit to this yummy delight. Although it does not directly contain any antioxidants, it does contain Riboflavin which enhances or promotes the activity of antioxidants Glutathione. Riboflavin being a water soluble vitamin B, it easily flushes out of the body. You need to consume yogurt on a daily basis to be benefited.
- Organic milk: Organic milk is the milk obtained from cows that feed on organic food. The antioxidant value of this milk is 40 to 50 times greater than the cows raised in a conventional manner. Antioxidants like vitamin E, lutein and beta carotene are present in it. Organic cheese and butter are other options you may choose.
- Popcorn: Popcorn is not only a fast and favorite snack, but it also is good in its fiber and antioxidant content. A study carried out by the University of Scranton revealed that the whole grain snack foods such as popcorn have surprisingly high levels of polyphenols which have anti-cancerous properties.
- Natural sweeteners: Natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, molasses, brown sugar contain good amount of anti oxidants. Darker the color of honey, greater is its antioxidant content. The non-commercial varieties of honey contain poly phenol. Adding these natural sweeteners in your dessert instead of table sugar does have some added benefit.
- Canola oil: Canola oil contains Alpha-tocopherol. Alpha-tocopherol prevents the oxidation of bad cholesterol (LDL), preventing the release of free radicals. No wonder canola oil is considered to be heart-healthy oil.
We live with a notion that what is healthy is not tasty and what is tasty is not healthy. There definitely is a lot more for us in store to explore. Mother Nature has been very kind to us. Antioxidants are truly the miraculous nutrient.
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