Today, the world is facing a growing number of health concerns. From pollution to new and strange viruses, there are so many things out there that can harm the human body. The only way people can fight back against health issues is by taking responsibility for their welfare. They can do this by including health food in their diet.
The human runs like a machine. As such, it needs fuel and maintenance to run properly. The issue humans face is there are good sources of fuel and maintenance, and bad sources of fuel and maintenance. Given the limited amount of information people have about nutrition and health food, it’s difficult for most people to know the difference between good and bad.
Oxidants and Antioxidants
One of the things that cause health issues for the human body is the oxidants people take into their bodies. Oxidants are caused by pesticides, fertilizers, cleaning products, cigarette smoking and food products high in sodium, among other things. The oxidants serve to create free radicals (harmful molecules that attack body cells and tissue), which are very harmful to the human body. The good news is nutrition does provide everyone with a way to fight back against the presence of oxidants. Not surprisingly, an abundance of antioxidants in health food in the best way the human body can combat the health problems oxidants create. Does your body get an adequate amount of antioxidants in food?
Antioxidant Rich Foods
If you are not sure about how to get the antioxidants your body needs, it’s likely because you aren’t aware of where to find antioxidants in food. The following list represents 10 foods or food groups you can start including in your diet to increase the antioxidants in your body.
Nuts, all kinds of nuts, are a favorite snack for people all over the world. What most people don’t know is how nutritious some nuts can be. They can aid in heart health and create melatonin, which helps stimulate the brain’s production of serotonin. Seratonin is the neurotransmitter that prompts sleep. Some nuts also have high concentrations of antioxidants. Walnuts and almonds are particularly good sources of antioxidants. FYI: It’s best to eat nuts roasted or raw without salt.
2. Red Beans
When addressing issues of nutrition, it’s pretty common knowledge that beans are a good source of protein, especially green-colored beans like limas, peas and green beans. Surprisingly, red beans are also a good source of protein as well as antioxidants. Red beans in chili is a popular dish in America and parts of South America.
3. Green Vegetables
For decades, nutritionists all over the world have been exposing the benefits of green vegetables to the human body. Most green vegetables are loaded with many of the vitamins and minerals humans need for survival. After all, humans were originally vegetarians who feasted primarily off of foliage. Among other vital nutritional ingredients, green vegetables like broccoli, lettuce, kale, cabbage, greens mustard, and turnips are loaded with antioxidants. Other vegetables that help in the fight against oxidants are tomatoes, red peppers, beets, sweet potatoes, eggplant, onions and carrots.
If someone wants to alter the taste of their diet, they usually turn to the spice rack. That’s a good thing considering spices also have a lot of nutritional value, not the least of which includes antioxidants. Among the everyday spices people all over the world use for cooking, the following group represents some of the spices that hold the highest levels of antioxidants: turmeric, cinnamon, garlic, onion, oregano, and chili peppers (green and red).
Most fruits are low in calories and very high in various nutrients. They also represent a food group that contains high levels of antioxidants. It’s no small thing that fruits are great with meals and as snack foods. The best antioxidant-loaded group is berries, all kinds of berries. This list includes blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, aronia berries, cranberries and red currants with aronia being the leader of the pack. It doesn’t stop there. Other fruits that offer antioxidants include oranges, raisins, red grapes, apricots, cherries, plums, and the always popular apples.
6. Aronia Berry
Aronia is a rather obscure health food product. The fruit is produced by the plant Aronia melanocarpa, also called the black chokeberry, which is a species of shrub that’s part of the rose family. The Aronia berry is native to the Eastern parts of North America where they are abundantly available in wet woods and swamp areas. Aronia melanocarpa produces berries, which are very tart to the taste and full of antioxidants. People often eat the Aronia melanocarpa berries raw or use them to produce foods/drinks like some types of wine, jam, syrup, juice, tea, salsa, beer, ice cream, and gummy candies. Aronia berries can also be consumed as dried berries or fruit powder.
7. Green Tea
When it comes to nutrition, most people agree it’s not possible for 1.5 billion Chinese people to be wrong. Green tea is an essential part of a Chinese person’s diet. Green tea provides great protection for the body against free radicals. In the drink category, red wine and fruit/vegetable juices are also a great source of antioxidants.
While mangosteen or mangoes are part of the fruit group, they deserve special attention because of the extraordinary benefits a mango provides. Aside from providing a high amount of antioxidants in food, mangoes also provide lots of vitamins and minerals. These vitamins and minerals help the human body fight off many types of diseases and bacterial infections. It’s also noteworthy that mangosteen serves as an effective anti-inflammatory and pain reliever.
9. Essential Oils
How someone prepares food matters. The last thing anyone wants is to lose important nutrients through the cooking process. If someone is cooking with oils, it best to stick with antioxidant-rich oils like olive oil, wheat germ oil, walnut oil, sesame seed oil, and Niger oil. These oils also go well with salads and green vegetables.
10. Whole Grains
Whole grains play a vital role in keeping the body regulated. The entire digestive system is dependent on having access to whole grain products to provide nutrition and help the body digest food properly. Some whole grains also provide a fair amount of antioxidants. The best grains for providing antioxidants in food are wheat, oats, and brown rice, not white rice. The best whole grain foods for antioxidant content include pasta, whole-grain bread, and granola.