By Jessica Smith
Aging is a process which we can’t stop, but the way that we age and the quality of life that we experience depends on how well we’ve treated our body. Growing older does not automatically mean a decline in health. A healthy diet rich in antioxidant foods will help you retain your vitally, preventing diseases and clearing the body of free radicals. Without the accumulation of toxins, heart disease’s risk drops, and the health of your other organs improves. The body never runs into a deficiency if you make sure that you support its natural detox process with a healthy diet and good lifestyle choices. Here’s a look at seven antioxidant foods which you should include in your diet to stay healthy and slow the signs of aging.
Green tea, officially the camellia sinensis leaves and buds, is a drink which is one of the world’s richest sources of antioxidants. It is comprised of roughly 30% polyphenols which are natural antioxidants. A large number of these polyphenols are catechins which prevent free radicals from accumulating in the body which plays a major role in aging and a heightened risk of disease. One of the most effective antioxidant compounds in green is Epigallocatechin Gallate or EGCG. EGCG is a profound anti-cancer agent, and it promotes good cardiovascular health. It is only one of the many diseases and cancer-preventing compounds in green tea. Drink green tea regularly, and you’ll be promoting better health on a molecular level.
Dark chocolate contains two main groups of antioxidants, both of which hold immense benefits for the heart and body. This healthy snack has both polyphenols and flavonoids. Dark chocolate has a higher concentration of flavonoids than wine, tea or even juice. The only juice which is higher is pomegranate. It’s the cocoa which has the most antioxidants, promoting good heart health and eliminating free radicals. There is no healthier sweet treat than a delicious piece of dark chocolate to slow the process of aging. It even raises good cholesterol while lowering bad cholesterol, another prime factor contributing to strain on the heart and blood vessels. Just make sure the dark chocolate that you pick up is vegan!
Asparagus is highly nutritious, and it’s packed with not only a range of antioxidants but asparagine as well. This compound improves blood flow, which means that it’s great for lowering blood pressure. As a detoxifying agent, asparagus contains high concentrations of glutathione. This compound, also found in Brussel sprouts, avocado, and kale, breaks down both carcinogens cancer-causing compounds) and free radicals. Another great anti-aging property of asparagus is how it prevents cognitive decline, lowering the risk of mentally degenerative diseases. Mental response and flexibility increase when you get in enough vitamin B12 in conjunction with folate contained in asparagus. It helps to keep your brain and body young.
Pecans are the highest source of antioxidants out of all nuts. They contain over 19 different vitamins and minerals including phosphorus, numerous B vitamins, folic acid, magnesium, vitamin A & E. The catechin count in pecans is very high, while flavonol also shows high antioxidant properties as well. Not only do pecans supply a healthy dose of antioxidants but they also increase antioxidant capacity.
Blueberries have higher antioxidant levels than almost all fruits and vegetables. The flavonoid count of blueberries combined with their high levels of vitamin k support kidney function and bolster natural detoxification. They contain a high count of anthocyanins, powerful cancer preventative and broad range antioxidant. This tasty berry also reduces DNA damage which typically occurs as we age. After just four weeks of supplementing with blueberries daily, oxidative free radical damage drops by an average of 20%
Kale has high levels of a range of antioxidants. It contains quercetin, kaempferol, beta-carotene, flavonoids, polyphenols and vitamin C. Kale’s also one of the best sources of lutein which protects our eyes from damage. The glucosinolates of kale assist the regulation of detoxification at a genetic level while quercetin reduces inflammation, fights free radicals and even boosts the immune system. Kaempferol is an antioxidant which also fights free radicals, while also preventing neurological disease and reducing the risk of cancer. Out of all leafy greens, kale as one of the best antioxidant profiles with a broad range of different compounds assisting your natural detox.
Balance Your Diet for Total Body Benefits
There are lots of other antioxidant foods for you to try. Most antioxidant-rich foods are nutrient dense as well. Be sure to include a variety of different foods from the ones on our list and try others like artichokes, strawberries, goji berries, raspberries, mangos, grapes, more whole grains, and lots of seeds & nuts. You’ll also find that once you adjust your diet, you’ll stay fuller for longer, maintaining healthy body weight or promoting the changes that are needed naturally. Antioxidants promote healthy development which gives you a glowing complexion, fewer wrinkles, better bone density, firmer skin, and a vastly improved bill of health. Immune function improves, and you’re always at peak energy thanks to never having to waste hydration or metabolism on expelling toxins and other harmful metabolites.
Author Bio: Jessica Smith
Jessica is an avid reader who enjoys getting lost in the world of books. Holding on to her passion for fitness, she believes that a healthy diet is a key to healthy living.