Top 10 Foods For Reducing Free Radical Damage

spiceWe’ve talked quite a bit about free radicals and the damage they can cause.

For those who are unfamiliar with them, they are essentially molecules in your body which are unstable. Therefore they seek to bond with other molecules to stabilize themselves. Unfortunately this damages the molecule in question which causes aging or worse, cancer.

Luckily there’s something we can do about it – antioxidants. They can help prevent damage to your molecules. Here are some of the best foods to consume if you want to increase the amount of antioxidants in your system.

1. Coffee

For many people this one shouldn’t be a problem as it’s probably something you’re drinking lots of already. It’s one of the top sources of antioxidant in the typical American diet. Although it’s not the most dense sources of antioxidant, it makes up for it in terms of quantity consumed. Get which ever type of coffee you like, but take it easy with the sugar!

2. Eggs

Eggs are full of vitamins and minerals. They’re also a great source of antioxidant to boot. But how do you cook them? The answer is, for best results, you don’t! If you eat them uncooked you can get a massive dose of antioxidants. However not everyone may like eating them that way so cooking them pretty much any other way is fine. But the healthier the better. So try to avoid cooking them in oil.

3. Chocolate

Another source which you shouldn’t have much problem eating. However it’s mostly in dark chocolate and cocoa powder (they both contain more antioxidant activity than fruit!) – that we’re looking for; not milk chocolate. Milk chocolate has minimal quantities of antioxidant and usually contains too much fat to be beneficial to you.

4. Dried Fruit

Because dried fruit by its very nature contains little water, you’re getting a very concentrated dose of antioxidant. Which sort are the best? You can’t go wrong with most sorts of dried fruit but prunes, raisins and figs are 3 of the strongest. Sweeter tasting fruit like apples, pears, pineapple and mango are also good sources.

5. Watercress

Watercress is incredibly good for you. A large bowl sized portion of watercress will only contain about 5 calories. Some of which will be burned away from chewing. But it contains lutein and zexanthin both which are good sources of anti oxidant for the eyes. The best thing is that cress will go with practically anything! Salads, fish, pasta or just put some into a sandwich. Make an egg & cress sandwich for a mega antioxidant combo to KO those free radicals!

6. Vegetables

This one won’t be a surprise to many of you. Vegetables are good for everything health related. Especially carrots, artichokes, broccoli, spinach and asparagus. However vegetables may contain more or less antioxidants depending on how exactly you cook them. Griddling and microwaving help retain the most antioxidants.

7. Barley

And now one which may surprise you a bit – barley. Unfortunately simply drinking a load of beer won’t be enough! The best way to make use of barley is to consume it in its natural form; try putting them in soup or over a salad. It can also reduce cholesterol and contains tons of the nutrients your body needs.

8. Spice

This is another one you may be consuming already, especially if you love rich spicy food. They are an incredibly dense source of anti oxidant – the opposite to coffee really. In terms of volume you won’t have much spice, but the small amount you do have will be very rich in antioxidants. In addition to being great antioxidants they can also increase the metabolism and reduce the chances of cancer. Sage, thyme and oregano and cinnamon are some of the top sources.

9. Fruit Juices

This is a really easy one to do if you’re having trouble getting enough antioxidants into your diet. They are rich in antioxidants as well as being something which can be consumed in a large volume. Especially look out for pomegranate, grape, blueberry and pineapple juice. They should also be good sources of vitamins A, E and C.

10. Kidney Beans

Even a small portion of kidney beans can contain over 5000 ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity – how antioxidants are measured). Try mixing them together in a spicy chilly for another free radical fighting combo. Other types of beans are also good too like soy beans, lentils and small red beans.

As you can see there’s quite a diverse range of foods from which you can get antioxidants from. There’s no excuse for not getting enough in your diet!