Antioxidants!

22 Nov

What are antioxidants?

An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits other molecules from getting oxidized.  Oxidation is undesirable because the process can form free radicals which can cause cell death.  Free radicals are problematic because one is formed, they create a chain reaction that allows the formation of even more free radicals.  Antioxidants are able to capture these intermediates and prevent more free radicals from being formed (Source).

(Source)

Why should we eat them?

As antioxidants are able to stop additional free radical formation and inhibit oxidative stress in our bodies, they are desirable to consume.  In fact, oxidative stress is thought to promote diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Rheumatoid Arthritis.  It  has yet to be determined if these diseases are caused due to oxidative stress or if oxidative stress  is a side effect of the diseases.  However, oxidative stress has been definitively linked to the development of atherosclerosis and heart disease (This shows you where you can read all the original studies).

Best sources of antioxidants

A paper came out in 2004 in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry that examined the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) of more than 100 foods.  Of the foods examined, the  foods with the top ten highest TAC were (in decreasing order):

Small Red Beans

Wild Blueberries

Red Kidney Beans

Pinto Beans

Cultivated Blueberries

Cranberries

Cooked Artichokes

Blackberries

Prunes

Strawberries

Red Delicious Apples

 

Although we commonly think of fruits and vegetables as being high in antioxidants, some of the foods, such as kidney beans, may come as a surprise.

Look forward to

In the next several posts, I will focus on each food listed about and discuss its health benefits in detail.  Also, I will share links to recipes to help you incorporate these foods into your diet as part of a healthy and delicious dish!

Question?

Did any of the foods on the list surprise you?  What is your favorite way to eat any of the listed foods?

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7 Responses to “Antioxidants!”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Antioxidant Tuesdays-Pinto Beans! « naturallyhealthyandgorgeous - November 29, 2011

    […] this post, I listed the top 10 sources of antioxidants amongst 100 common foods.  We have already covered […]

  2. Antioxidant Tuesdays-Cranberries! « naturallyhealthyandgorgeous - December 6, 2011

    […] are the next food to focus on in my series, Antioxidant Tuesdays!  Over a period of ten weeks, I will talk about each of the foods that study found to be the […]

  3. Antioxidant Tuesdays-Artichokes « naturallyhealthyandgorgeous - December 13, 2011

    […] the next installment of antioxidant Tuesdays, I am going to talk about artichokes.    If you haven’t read an Antioxidant Tuesday post […]

  4. Antioxidant Tuesdays-Blackberries! « naturallyhealthyandgorgeous - December 22, 2011

    […] the next installment of antioxidant Tuesdays, I am going to talk about blackberries.    If you haven’t read an Antioxidant Tuesday post […]

  5. Antioxidant Tuesdays-Prunes « naturallyhealthyandgorgeous - December 27, 2011

    […] the next installment of antioxidant Tuesdays, I am going to talk about prunes.    If you haven’t read an Antioxidant Tuesday post […]

  6. Antioxidant Tuesdays-Strawberries « naturallyhealthyandgorgeous - January 3, 2012

    […] the next installment of antioxidant Tuesdays, I am going to talk about strawberries.    If you haven’t read an Antioxidant Tuesday post […]

  7. Antioxidant Tuesdays-Red Delicious Apples « naturallyhealthyandgorgeous - January 10, 2012

    […] the next installment of antioxidant Tuesdays, I am going to talk about red delicious apples.    If you haven’t read an Antioxidant […]

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