Antioxidants are being praised left and right for their anti-aging capabilities. Companies everywhere are using them in everything, from makeup to products for skin rejuvenation. Antioxidant foods are being recommended left and right as well. Because antioxidants are capable of repelling free radicals that cause damage to your DNA, this makes them perfect for getting healthier skin. Beside their use in beauty products, antioxidants can also be put to good use in your diet.
Although antioxidants aren’t proven to treat any conditions, research has shown that antioxidants have also been implicated in the prevention of a number of degenerative, age-related diseases, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Cognitive impairment
- Immune dysfunction
- Macular degeneration
- Helps with weight loss
- Improves immune system
When people think of antioxidants, berries and fruits tend to come to mind. Common berries and fruits are foods high in antioxidants, and there are other antioxidant foods that provide significant protection from free radical damage.
Here are some antioxidant super foods to try:
Exotic Acai Berries
This super berry from the Brazilian rainforest has been dubbed the “beauty berry”. Research by Dr. Susanne Talcott and Dr. Steve Talcott shows that acai berry significantly increases the antioxidant levels in the blood. Not only is acai the beauty berry but it may be the “longevity berry” as well. Research done by Emory University School of Medicine conducted tests on fruit flies showing that acai berries lengthen their lives by three times! The fruit flies were put under oxidative stress (much like what we go through in our daily lives) and then given acai berries. Their lifespan went from 8 days to a whopping 24! In addition to all those benefits, in 2006 the University of Florida found that compounds in this fruit could prevent leukemia in patients. So besides beauty purposes, turn to the acai berry for possible longevity and disease fighting benefits.
Before you rule out chocolate as bad for your health consider this: “Cocoa is rich in antioxidant flavonoids called flavanols, which include procyanidins, epicatechins, and catechins,” explains Harold Schmitz, PhD, director of science at Mars, Inc. Several studies in animals and humans have shown the benefits of antioxidants for heart health. One of these studies done by Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD, distinguished professor of nutrition at Penn State University, found that people who ate a diet rich in cocoa powder and dark chocolate had lower oxidation levels of bad LDL cholesterol, higher blood antioxidant levels, and 4% higher levels of good HDL cholesterol. If you want to get the most antioxidant benefits from chocolate then try pairing it with berries. Chocolate improves blood circulation and will therefore maximize your efforts of absorbing antioxidants from both the chocolate and the berries.
Many people overlook the dietary value of herbs, but little do they know herbs are actually a good source of antioxidants. Rune Blomhoff and other scientists at the University of Oslo in Norway found that herbs are a surprisingly significant source of antioxidants. As little as ½ a teaspoon of cloves has more antioxidants than a ½ cup serving of blueberries and cranberries which are famous for being high in antioxidants. Some antioxidant rich herbs to include in your meals are:
- lemon balm
Boost your anti-aging benefits and healthy body with antioxidant foods and topical creams for your skin. These 3 foods are great ways to incorporate more antioxidants into your diet. Getting more antioxidants in your diet delves far deeper than the beauty aspect. The health benefits of antioxidants could mean anything from anti-aging to fighting off degenerative disease and increasing your longevity.