“Antioxidant” is a word we are hearing more and more these days. Its connection with good health is continually being tested and proven in many labs. “Antioxidant” is the term for a group of nutrients with many health-promoting properties. They are found in raw foods and are associated with many desirable qualities – ranging from better eyesight to possible cancer prevention.
If one were to make a triangle similar to the well-known Food Pyramid from the USDA, antioxidants would make up nearly the same categories. They are plentiful in the fruits and vegetables category, and are represented by the protein classification of meats, poultry, fish and nuts. Antioxidants are found in grains as well. If you eat a balanced diet that includes a variety and lots of leafy greens, you are sure to get your needed supply of antioxidants.
What is the function of antioxidants in the body? There are many studies being conducted to find out just how important antioxidants are to one’s health and well being. They help to stabilize free radicals. Free radicals can cause damage to cells that promote the development of cancer.
Where can you find antioxidants to be sure your diet is rich in this valuable nutrient?
Lutein is found in vegetables like spinach and kale. It is credited with eye health. Beta-carotene is recognized by the orange color of the fleshy parts of fruits and vegetables alike. Examples that include this vital nutrient are squash, apricots, mangoes and carrots.
Lycopene can be found in tomatoes, watermelon, guava and more natural foods. Anthocyanins exist in berries, cherries, red grapes and the Brazilian acai berry. Proanthocyanidins are located in cranberries, apples, strawberries, grapes, and peanuts.
Antioxidants have been found to reduce the danger of disease while promoting improved health. Studies have made the connection between antioxidants found in these naturally occurring food sources and diminished risk of cancer and like ailments. Antioxidants are found in the healthy body, so be sure your diet is rich in these necessary foods.
If you ensure that your diet includes a wide variety of these antioxidant rich foods, you have a better chance of living a healthier, longer life. After all, don’t all of us want to be able to live life to its fullest? Don’t we all want to make the most of our lives? I know I do! Healthy eating – and particularly an antioxidant-rich diet – should be a priority for all of us.