In your body and in food, antioxidants are substances that help shield cells from cellular damage brought on by potentially dangerous molecules known as free radicals. Oxidative stress is a condition that can be brought on by an accumulation of free radicals. Your DNA and other vital cell structures may be harmed as a result. Unfortunately, persistent oxidative stress raises your risk of developing chronic conditions like cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Fortunately, consuming an antioxidant-rich diet can help raise your blood antioxidant levels to fight oxidative stress and lower your risk of developing these illnesses. To determine the antioxidant content of foods, scientists employ a variety of tests. The FRAP (plasma reduction ability) analysis is one of the best tests. By dissipating a specific free radical, it successfully measures the antioxidant content of food. The food contains more antioxidants when the FRAP value is higher.
Dark chocolate, first
The good news for chocolate lovers is that dark chocolate is healthy. According to the FRAP analysis, 100 grams of dark chocolate can contain up to 15 mmol of antioxidants. This is even more antioxidants than blueberries and raspberries, which, in the same serving size, have 9.2 and 2.3 mmol of antioxidants, respectively. Additionally, the antioxidants in cocoa and dark chocolate have been linked to remarkable health advantages, including lowered risk factors for heart disease and reduced inflammation. For instance, the relationship between cocoa consumption and blood pressure in both healthy individuals and those with high blood pressure was examined in a review of 10 studies. Dark chocolate and other products high in cocoa reduced systolic blood pressure by an average of 4.5 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 2.5 mmHg (4). Another study discovered that dark chocolate may lower the risk of heart disease by increasing the levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, “bad” LDL cholesterol, and blood antioxidants.
Walnuts, which are indigenous to Mexico and South America, are a good source of antioxidants, healthy fats, and minerals. Walnuts have 10.6 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams, according to a FRAP analysis. According to one study, people who got 20% of their daily calories from walnuts had significantly higher levels of blood antioxidants. Another study found that eating walnuts reduced LDL levels in subjects by 26% to 33% over the course of two to eight hours. An increased risk of heart disease is associated with high blood levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol. Walnuts are a fantastic source of good fats, but they are also very calorie-dense.
This fruit is low in calories but high in nutrients and antioxidants. Blueberries have up to 9.2 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams, according to a FRAP analysis. According to numerous studies, blueberries have the highest antioxidant content of any commonly consumed fruits and vegetables. Additionally, studies in test tubes and on animals have demonstrated that the antioxidants in blueberries can postpone the age-related decline in brain function. According to research, this effect may be caused by the antioxidants in blueberries. They accomplish this by scavenging dangerous free radicals, lowering inflammation, and changing how some genes are expressed. Additionally, it has been demonstrated that anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant found in blueberries, can lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.
Strawberry No. 4
One of the most consumed fruits worldwide is the strawberry. These tasty fruits are a great source of antioxidants and vitamin C. Strawberries offer 5.4 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams, according to a FRAP analysis. Brighter red strawberries are those that contain more anthocyanin. Anthocyanins have been found to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels while raising “good” HDL cholesterol, thereby lowering the risk of heart disease. Anthocyanin supplements significantly lowered LDL cholesterol in people with heart disease or high LDL levels, according to a review of 10 studies.
Although they are not very common in the North American diet, artichokes are a tasty and wholesome vegetable. However, it has a long history, and the leaves were once used as a treatment for liver conditions like jaundice. According to the FRAP analysis, artichokes are particularly high in the antioxidant known as chlorogenic acid, with 4.7 mmol per 100 grams. Studies have revealed that some cancers, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease may be related to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of chlorogenic acid. imply that it might lower the risk of getting sick. Depending on how they are cooked, artichokes’ antioxidant content can change.
Goji Berries, no. 6
Traditional Chinese medicine has used the dried fruit of Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense, known as the goji berry, for more than 2000 years. Due to their abundance in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, goji berries are frequently promoted as a superfood. Goji berries have 4.3 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams, according to a FRAP analysis. This fruit has been linked to a lower risk of cancer and heart disease, and it may also help prevent skin aging. Additionally, goji berries have a powerful ability to increase blood antioxidant levels. Healthy elderly participants in one study drank milk-based goji berry tea every day for 90 days. Blood antioxidant levels had increased by 57% by the study’s conclusion. Goji berries are healthy, but purchasing them frequently can be pricey. A small number of studies have been done on the effects of goji berries on humans. These do support health benefits, but more research involving people is required.
Soft and tart raspberries are frequently used in desserts. They are a fantastic source of antioxidants, vitamin C, manganese, and dietary fiber. It contains up to 4 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams, according to the FRAP analysis. Antioxidants and other elements in raspberries have been linked in one study to a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. According to one study’s findings, 90% of breast, colon, and stomach cancer cells were found to be destroyed by the antioxidants and other elements in raspberries. Black raspberries’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties have been shown to slow and suppress the effects of various cancers, according to a review of five studies. Additionally, the antioxidants in raspberries, particularly the anthocyanins, may lessen oxidative stress and inflammation. This can lower the chance of developing heart disease. Test-tube studies, however, provide the majority of the data supporting raspberries’ health advantages. Before recommendations can be made, more human research is required.
Red Cabbage 8.
A red cabbage’s nutrient profile is impressive. It is also referred to as purple cabbage and is high in antioxidants, vitamins C, K, and A. Red cabbage offers 2.2 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams, according to a FRAP analysis. The amount of antioxidants in regular cooked kale is more than four times higher. This is because the antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which give red cabbage its color, are present in red cabbage. Raspberries and strawberries also contain anthocyanins. Numerous health advantages have been linked to these anthocyanins. They could lessen inflammation, guard against heart problems, and lower the risk of some cancers. Red cabbage also contains a lot of vitamin C, which the body uses as an antioxidant. Vitamin C can help keep skin firm and strengthen the immune system. It’s interesting to note that antioxidant levels can be impacted by how red cabbage is prepared.
Beans are a wide variety of affordable, nutritious legumes. One of the best sources of natural antioxidants is beans. Beans have been linked to impressive health benefits like decreased chronic inflammation and suppressed cancer growth, according to FRAP analysis, and they contain up to 2 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams. For instance, numerous studies on animals have demonstrated that kaempferol can inhibit the development of cancers of the breast, bladder, kidney, and lungs. More human-based studies are required, though, as the majority of the research on kaempferol’s advantages has been conducted on animals or in test tubes.
The roots of a plant called Beta vulgaris are known as beets. It is a great source of fiber, potassium, iron, folate, and antioxidants and has a mild flavor. Beets contain up to 1.7 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams, according to a FRAP analysis. They are particularly high in betalains, a class of antioxidants. Beets’ reddish color, which has been linked to health advantages, is caused by these ingredients. For instance, numerous studies conducted in test tubes have discovered a link between betalains and a reduced risk of colon and gastrointestinal cancer. Beets also contain additional substances that could assist in reducing inflammation.
One of the vegetables with the most nutrients is spinach. It is incredibly low in calories and rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Spinach contains 0.9 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams, according to a FRAP analysis. These antioxidants aid in preventing the long-term eye damage that free radicals may bring about. Your body naturally produces compounds known as antioxidants. They can also be obtained through food. They defend your body against the buildup of potentially harmful molecules called free radicals that heighten oxidative stress. Sadly, oxidative stress raises the risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many other chronic illnesses.