Antioxidants have the capability to protect the body against damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are released into the body as a result of metabolism. In addition to the natural process that is responsible for the release for free radicals, chemicals that are found in cigarette smoke and in the environment also cause the production of free radicals. The food that is consumed everyday has chemicals and preservatives. This is also responsible for the free radicals production. Adding to diet and metabolic activity, the emotions experienced by a person can also trigger free radicals.
What is the problem with free radicals? Free radicals have the tendency to remove electrons from the body which results in tissue damage. When free radicals are produced in significant quantities, various types of diseases can result. The best way to solve the problem of free radicals is to consume food rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants supply extra electrons which are needed by the free radicals. Once free radicals obtain the electrons needed, they are neutralized.
To limit the damage caused by free radicals, it is essential to eat various plant based foods. While most vegetables and fruits have varying percentages of antioxidant capability, some foods are better compared to others. All types of berries are considered to be very good antioxidants and the list of berries is: blueberries, blackberries, Strawberries etc. Various types of beans are also good in antioxidant ability. Make sure that you consume a lot of kidney beans, black beans and cherries too.
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Fresh tomatoes, vegetables that have a bright colour like carrots and greens are also known for their antioxidant properties. Consumption of spices like cloves, cinnamon and including onion or garlic in the food is also good for protecting your body against free radicals. It is advisable to consume vegetable juice or include fresh vegetables in your meals. You can also consume seasonal fruits that are available in your region. When you consume vegetables and fruits, you should avoid those that are known for their high pesticide content. Imported fruits, potatoes and some berries are known to have high pesticide level.
As pesticides are absorbed by the vegetables and fruits when they were grown, it is not possible to eliminate the full pesticide content by merely washing the vegetables and fruits. The best solution is to consume organic vegetables and fruits that are known for high pesticide content.
Various nuts and seeds are also considered to be goof for reducing the free radical level in the body. You can also consume yogurt regularly for reaping good benefits. You can also include the following in your diet for defense against free radicals:
- Whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat products.
- Tea: Consuming a few cups of tea is known to be beneficial. You can consume black tea or green tea too, if you are used to drinking them.
As a wide range of foods are known to have good to excellent antioxidant properties, it is better to consume various types of foods so that your diet is balanced.