Antioxidants are essential to our good health and well-being. We need them in order for our bodies to kill the bad bacteria that make us ill and damage our healthy cells. If we do not consume enough foods rich in antioxidant properties, our body can be susceptible to premature aging, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancers.
Vitamins from the A, C, and E groups are the main sources of antioxidants, and fruits that are highly coloured contain the most. Reds and purples such as berries and grapes are the richest of fruits, with orange and yellow fruits coming in a close second. Without having to worry about how much you need or what to eat, just include brightly coloured fruit in your diet everyday and you are doing the right thing for your body. It doesn’t mean that if you eat antioxidant-rich fruits that you won’t get sick, but you stand a better chance of staying healthy if you do eat these foods.
Dark coloured grapes are rich in substances called phytochemicals as well as antioxidants that protect our bodies against things like heart disease and cancer. There are two that aid our immune system that are found in purple grapes: proanthocyanin and anthocyanin. Also found in grapes are selenium and Vitamin C. Research has shown that fruits high in anthocyanin and proanthocyanin can help reduce weight. A new plum developed in Australia has been shown to reduce obesity in rats, and just a cup of plum juice each day can help overweight people lose weight. These plums have a purple skin and purple flesh and are extremely high in anthocyanin and proanthocyanin.
It has been shown that blueberries can lower inflammation in our body and help our cells stay healthy. Being purple in colour, the skin contains phytochemicals like anthocyanin that also look after our heart.
Strawberries, raspberries, goji berries, acai berries, and red currants contain a different phytochemical called ellagic acid that may protect against carcinogenic elements in the environment. Strawberries are beneficial for our skin and eyes and can aid in reducing bad cholesterol. They also contain considerable quantities of phenolic compounds called flavenoids that have high antioxidant properties. These fight at a cellular level and lower our risk of diabetes, dementia, cancer, and heart disease.
These berries are high in antioxidants and ellagic acid as well as fibre to aid our digestion and overall health.
These are particularly helpful for our kidneys and urinary tract and can keep issues like cystitis away. They improve urinary function, and drinking just a small amount every day or taking it in capsule form is very helpful.
These sticky, dried plums are high in antioxidants as well as many vitamins. They are good for bone health as well as fighting bad cholesterol. Just a quarter of a cup each day provides us with 12% of the daily value of dietary fibre, 32% of vitamin K, and 9% of potassium. This is just from four prunes.
By eating just a few blackberries with breakfast and some strawberries at lunch, it is easy to incorporate these tasty and beneficial fruits into our diets. Even children love the taste of berries and grapes, and by starting young, we can teach them to eat a healthy and varied diet and live a long and healthy life.