Everyone may not know what antioxidants actually are but when asked everyone can vouch for these vitamins by saying they are good for you! And it is true Antioxidants are in fact vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that may protect you from free radicals. Radicals are produced when your body breaks down food for energy. These molecules can damage skin cells, weaken the immune system and may play a role in heart disease, arthritis, cancer and other diseases. The good news is that by increasing the level of antioxidants in your body, you are arming yourself with what you need to slow down, fight off and prevent the damage that can be caused by these free radicals. Antioxidants work to neutralize these free radicals, thereby making you healthier in every way!
With the positives of these vitamins being so high it is important to know which foods contain the most powerful antioxidant punch! Nutrition Research Centers are constantly testing different foods to reveal which contain the most antioxidants and this can be done by measuring their ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity). This is pretty much just a fancy way of saying antioxidant rich power. The top ten performers in both the fruit and vegetable categories have been recognized!
9. Red grapes
3. Brussels sprouts
4. Alfalfa sprouts
5. Broccoli flowers
7. Red bell peppers
Make sure these fruits and vegetables make their way to the top of your grocery-shopping list for the week! There are numerous compounds that can act as antioxidants with Vitamin E, Vitamin C, beta-carotene, zinc, selenium and manganese. Each of these substances has a function and plays a different role in the body so when it comes to food choice, variety is the key to success. The more color you have on your plate, the bigger your capacity becomes for receiving nutrients and antioxidants!