Taking a more scientific look at this scenario – Every day we’re exposed to negative elements (toxins) like pollution, chemicals and UV rays, even stress, which are highly damaging to our cells. These toxins weaken the molecules in our cells causing them to lose an electron, making them the free radicals (or oxidants) These radicals try to steal electrons from other molecules, thus damaging the good cells, one at a time, spreading through the body and weakening the entire system. In layman’s terms, this could mean increase in bad LDL, clogging of arteries, heart problems, skin damage, cell-damage leading to loss in vision or blindness, causing wrinkles and more serious ailments like various forms of cancer.
So, to prevent all of these ailments, we need to fill ourselves up with Anti-oxidants, the molecules that eradicate the free radicals, and help improve our body’s natural immune system. And where do you get these invaluable antioxidants from? Well, they are spread all around you, hiding in all the fruits and vegetables, even delicacies like chocolate – you just have to know what foods to eat, so you can avail of their benefits!
As quoted by the Journal of Agriculture & Food Chemistry, the highest ranked anti-oxidant rich foods in four major categories are as follows:
Fruits: blueberries, cranberries, goji berries and blackberries, grapes, oranges, plums, pineapple and grapefruit.
Vegetables: beans, artichoke hearts, russet potatoes, kale, chili pepper, red cabbage, peppers, parsley, brussel sprouts, spinach, lemon, ginger, red beets.
Nuts: pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, ground nut, almonds and sunflower seeds.
Cereals: barley, millet, oats, corn.
Dry Fruits: apricots, prunes, dates.
Spices: cinnamon, oregano, ground cloves.
Extra: raw chocolate and green tea