Antioxidants, naturally found in foods, help to protect your body’s cell from aging, environmental toxins, and diseases. While the most popular foods to find them in have been rich red berries, many don’t realize that many foods we eat in their natural forms are rich in antioxidants as well. From drinks to spices, to vegetables and beans, here are 15 foods you’ll be surprised to know are healthier than you thought.
While many people drink coffee throughout the day for a kick of caffeine, they probably don’t know that according to Men’s Health, it is the number one source of antioxidants in the American diet. The antioxidants in it are called chlorogenic acid which helps to prevent worsening bad cholesterol and weight gain. Keep in mind that these benefits are only prominent with black coffee and diminish the second that sugars, sweeteners, and whipped cream is added.
Not only are they delicious, mushrooms are nutritious and rich in antioxidants called ergothioneine. According to Shape magazine, many scientists say that ergothioneine may be used to treat cancer and AIDs in the future. For now, it is used as an anti-inflammatory and is even found in anti-aging skin care.
Pistachios prevent diabetes, boosts immunity, have anti-aging properties, and many more health benefits--but many don’t know that they are also full of antioxidants. These antioxidants are called flavanoids are are great for anti-inflammatory purposes.
Flax seeds have the most benefit to our bodies when they are ground up and eaten raw. They contain fibre, omega-3 fat alphalinolenic acid (ALA), and an antioxidant called lignans. According to Web MD, these lignans, which have a similar makeup to that of estrogen, are said to slow down the growth of cancers that need estrogen to survive. Lignans also help to lower bad cholesterol levels and general inflammation.
Black tea is bursting at the seams with antioxidants. These antioxidants are called EGCG, and according to Shape magazine, when they are combined with caffeine can help you shed some unwanted weight. They also contain gallic acid, which is another antioxidant that is said to fight off the growth of cancers.
Rosemary, a delicious and apparently nutritious spice contains an antioxidant called carnosol. Carnosol is not only an anti-carcinogen, but according to Shape magazine, may also help to ward off Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.
While many beans have antioxidants in them, according to Prevention, not all beans are created equally. Research shows that the majority of Americans eat canned beans, and that the small red canned beans have the highest amount of antioxidants. Surprisingly, darker coloured kidney beans have more than three times the amount of antioxidants in them in comparison to light-coloured beans.
According to the study Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the scientists from The Hershey Company and Brunswick Laboratories of Norton, MA determined that natural cocoa powders have the highest levels of antioxidants. These antioxidants, called flavinol, are said to lower blood pressure and prevent weight gain. Just remember, we said natural cocoa powder, not chocolate bars.
Eggs have gained status for being a great source protein and Omega-3, while helping to lower bad cholesterol. According to Get Cracking, eggs are also high in antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin which help to maintain vision and reduce the risk of eye-related diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
According to Fit Day, raisins are high in antioxidants and even have more in them than their grape counterparts. Raisins contain flavanol, which are said to be an anti-carcinogen, an anti-inflammatory, and help to prevent heart disease.
Barley contains the antioxidant called ferulic acid. According to Shape magazine, ferulic acid was said to decrease the negative effects on the brain following a stroke when tested on animals. Ferulic acid has also shown to be great for anti-aging, fighting cancer, and preventing diabetes.
While many people usually use the extract from the vanilla bean, many do not know that it is the bean itself that carries the most amount of antioxidants. These potent antioxidants called phenolic compounds, according to Men’s Health, are used as an anti-microbial and also has anti-inflammatory agents.
Avocados seem to be incredibly popular these days. They are full of fibre, oleic acid, and antioxidants called lutein and carotenoids. According to Best Health magazine, lutein helps to protect against eye disease, while carotenoids help to absorb antioxidant nutrients from other fruits and vegetables.
Foods that are deep red colours are usually high in antioxidants called anthocyanins which has also been found in red cabbage. According to Shape magazine, these antioxidants help keep your blood vessels healthy, warding off disease. Cabbage also has the antioxidant called glucosinolates which helps your body fight against cancers.
Surprisingly, ginger has such a high number of antioxidants in them that there are only a few berries that surpass it. According to Yahoo Voice, ginger is a great source of antioxidant compounds. One of those compounds, gingerols, has anti-inflammatory properties and is said to help with the pain of arthritis if eaten on a regular basis.