Nutrition

The 5 best antioxidant-rich foods

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Nutrition

The 5 best antioxidant-rich foods

We've all been told to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants for optimal health and wellness. But what are antioxidants? By definition, antioxidants such as vitamins A and C are substances that can help prevent the effects of free radical damage in the body. In other words, antioxidants can neutralize the process of oxidation and cellular damage which contributes to aging and disease.

Some foods are extremely high in antioxidant content. I recommend consuming these foods on a regular basis to reverse the signs of aging and to help prevent – and even reverse – various disease processes such as cancer and heart disease, plus reduce blood pressure.

The 5 best antioxidant-rich foods
1. Berries
In addition to being deliciously sweet, berries such as raspberries, blueberries and strawberries offer an abundance of antioxidant capacity. Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are rich in proanthocyanidins, antioxidants that can help prevent cancer and heart disease. Eat them frozen in a morning smoothie, toss a handful over your morning yogurt or cereal or enjoy them as an afternoon snack.

2. Broccoli
Broccoli definitely takes the gold medal for most nutritious vegetable. This cruciferous vegetable contains more vitamin C than an orange and has more calcium than a glass of milk. In addition to minerals and vitamins, broccoli is filled with disease-fighting chemicals called phytonutrients. Sulforaphane, a phytonutrient found in broccoli, has been shown to lower the risk of many types of cancers. Try steaming or boiling broccoli and seasoning with basil, lemon or salsa for a delicious side dish. This powerhouse vegetable is a perfect addition to omelettes, salads or stir-frys.

3. Garlic
Garlic is used around the world as a delicious flavouring agent for any dish. The health benefits of garlic have been well touted for centuries, and raw garlic has been used as a natural antibiotic to kill off some strains of harmful bacteria. Garlic is also useful for decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol, removing heavy metals from the body, preventing cancer and acting as an antifungal and antiviral agent. One clove of garlic contains vitamins A, B and C, selenium, iodine, potassium, iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium.

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4. Green tea
Green tea contains high concentrations of catechin polyphenols. These compounds work in the body with other chemicals to heighten levels of fat oxidation and thermogenesis (a state created in the body by burning fat as fuel). On average, you should try to consume a minimum of three cups of green tea per day for weight loss effects. Green tea has also been shown to be preventative against cancer, heart disease and high cholesterol.

5. Tomatoes
Tomatoes are by far the richest source of a powerful anticancer agent called lycopene. In fact, research has shown lycopene to be an even more powerful disease fighter than vitamin E and beta carotene. Lycopene needs fat for optimal absorption to occur. Therefore, putting the healthy fat olive oil in your spaghetti sauce is an excellent trick to increase your lycopene levels. Start including more tomatoes in your diet in the form of sliced, whole, canned, stewed or sauced tomatoes or tomato paste.

In addition to the list above, red grapes, spinach, carrots and whole grains also offer plentiful antioxidant content. Remember – eat live to feel live and you will be on your way to a future of health, energy and wellness!

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Dr. Joey Shulman's latest title, The Last 15 – A Weight Loss Breakthrough, is available in  bookstores. For more information or to book an appointment, please visit www.drjoey.com.
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Nutrition

The 5 best antioxidant-rich foods

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