What Foods Have The Most Antioxidants?

Yesterday we took a look at what antioxidants are, so today we’ll outline the best food sources of antioxidants. But before we do that, we’ve got to know what categories they fall under.
Carotenoids
While there are many, many carotenoids, beta-carotene is the most well-known of the bunch. But they are sometimesCarotenoids misunderstood (Mark’s Daily Apple):2007wk21-300x225
Carotenoids are fat-soluble. (Beta-carotene is the most studied, but there are 600+ carotenoids we know about so far. Other popular ones include lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene.) Carotenoids are not interchangeable with vitamin A, nor is vitamin A an antioxidant! This is a common misconception. Beta-carotene can convert to vitamin A in the body, of course.
Here are the foods high in beta-carotene (National Cancer Institute):
Beta-carotene is found in many foods that are orange in color, including sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, squash, apricots, pumpkin, and mangos. Some green leafy vegetables including collard greens, spinach, and kale are also rich in beta-carotene.”
Vitamin C
We all know what vitamin C is, but how does it function as an antioxidant? (Wiki):vitamin_c_foods-300x200
Ascorbic acid or “vitamin C” is a monosaccharide antioxidant found in both animals and plants. As it cannot be synthesized in humans and must be obtained from the diet, it is a vitamin.”
And of course we know that oranges are a good source of vitamin C, but here are some others (Health Castle):
Citrus fruits like oranges and lime etc, green peppers, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, strawberries, and tomatoes”
Vitamin E
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There’s actually 8 components that make up the collective vitamin E, but other than that they’re pretty simple (National Cancer Institute):
Vitamin E, also known as alpha-tocopherol, is found in almonds, in many oils including wheat germ, safflower, corn and soybean oils, and also found in mangos, nuts, broccoli and other foods.”
Selenium
Selenium is a little different than the aforementioned nutrients, here’s why (NCI):
Selenium is a mineral, not an antioxidant nutrient. However, it is a component of antioxidant enzymes. Plant foods like rice and wheat are the major dietary sources of selenium in most countries. The amount of selenium in soil, which varies by region, determines the amount of selenium in the foods grown in that soil. Animals that eat grains or plants grown in selenium-rich soil have higher levels of selenium in their muscle. In the United States, meats and bread are common sources of dietary selenium. Brazil nuts also contain large quantities of selenium.”
02004alIn addition to beef, other healthy sources of selenium are, “…walnuts, eggs, chicken…” (Mark’s Daily Apple). While you may sometimes hear the recommendation of supplementing with selenium, there is not enough proof that doing so is effective.
After breaking down the different types of antioxidants, it’s obvious why incorporating different colors into your diet (in the form of healthy whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, meat, etc.) is imperative.
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