We’ve all heard about antioxidants at this point, but do you really understand what it means or why you should consume them? Certain foods and drinks are touted as being high in antioxidants amongst other nutrients but it is imperative that you be able to see through any marketing ploys and decipher for yourself which foods actually do contain high amounts of these beneficial components.
So what is an antioxidant exactly? It is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation produces free radicals, which are considered harmful to the body. The consumption of foods high in antioxidants is said to prevent the destructive chain reactions started by the presence of free radicals.
A recent health trend shows an increase in the popularity of astaxanthin, supposedly one of the most powerful antioxidants. Astaxanthin is only found in significant quantities in a few foods.
Food containing astaxanthin include:
• and shrimp.
The substance is responsible for causing the pink color of flamingos and other similar birds. Although it won’t turn you pink, the antioxidant benefits are immense.
Research has shown that you can reap the most benefits from antioxidants derived from food sources rather than supplements. Known foods include berries, fruits (especially the peels), nuts, herbs, vegetables, and grains (especially those based from oats). A healthy, whole food diet is one of the most valuable tools in maintaining good health and optimal body functioning.
Consumption of foods high in antioxidants is said to prevent conditions such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and can even act as a joint pain remedy. Never underestimate the value of a healthy and balanced diet! WebMD has a list of other foods high in antioxidants found here.