Study after study has shown the importance of antioxidants when it comes to health. Almost every other product – be it a carton of juice, a night cream or a bottle of red wine – claims to be a source of this substance that delays or prevents cell damage.
Antioxidants can help prevent cancer and heart disease, maintain memory, reduce the risk of degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, protect joints, soothe pain, reduce muscle soreness and fatigue, avert blindness, and prevent wrinkles.
Antioxidants may well be called the warriors of the body. They patrol every part and organ, repairing damaged molecules known as free radicals. If not tackled, free radicals can accelerate ageing and disease.
- Avocados: Rich in the healthy monounsaturated fat, this buttery fruit can help your skin stay hydrated and supple. The fat also helps absorb vitamins and nutrients needed by the skin.
- Broccoli: This superfood is said to pack a powerful nutritional punch. It is one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin C. It also contains other antioxidants such as carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene.
- Brussels sprouts: You must make friends with this cruciferous vegetable. Brussel sprouts are an exceptionally rich source of protein, dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals. The content of vitamin A and folate prevents sun damage while the vitamin C boosts collagen.
- Cinnamon: The spice obtained from the inner bark of a tree has a warming smell and distinct flavour. The stimulant can help in blood sugar control, digestion, alertness and memory development, and anti-ageing.
- Dark chocolate: Indulge only if it’s made with at least 70 per cent cocoa. This decadent treat is full flavonoids, basically compounds that act as antioxidants. It improves your mood and skin quality. And, it can also help you lose weight!
- Grapes: The skin of grapes contains resveratrol, which can help counter inflammation. Studies have also shown that it slows the aging process and may fight the effects of UV light and sun damage.
- Green tea: Said to be the healthiest beverage, green tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients. The high content of flavonoids and catechins, powerful antioxidants, make them a necessary addition to your diet.
- Oats: The complex carbohydrates in oats mean they’re a low-glycemic food and won’t spike your blood sugar like refined breads, rice, and pasta can. Rich in fibre, oats also contain a natural plant chemical that helps prevent damage to skin cells and soothes skin irritation.
- Oranges: This citrus fruit is rich in Vitamin C, which helps make the collagen that keeps your skin supple. Oranges are also chock full of water and keep your cells – and skin – hydrated and plump.
- Salmon: This fish is one of the top sources of the healthy omega-3 fats that prime your skin and keep it glowing. Some studies have suggested that omega-3s from fish may prevent skin cancer cells from growing and spreading. Clearly, one of the best fish to eat.
- Pomegranate: The red arils possess potent anti-inflammatory properties, owing to the presence of the punicalagin. So much so that pomegranate juice has been found to have three times the antioxidant activity of red wine and green tea.
- Red wine: Don’t stop yourself from pouring a glass of your favourite tipple or ordering it during a night on the town. The resveratrol helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces bad cholesterol and prevents blood clots. But drink in moderation!