Eating foods rich in antioxidants can help prevent illness and slow the aging process. The question what is oxidation, is one I am asked frequently. An easy visual example is imagine cutting an apple in half. What happens in half an hour? The apple starts to turn brown and maybe dry up a bit. This is due to exposure to oxygen and the chemical reaction that occurs in the presence of oxygen (the chemical reaction is oxidation).
There are various ways to measure antioxidant content in foods, but vitamin C, vitamin E, betacarotene, and selenium are the main nutrients to look for.Here are 5 everyday foods that are high in antioxidants:
1. Oats-are a source of selenium, vitamin E and soluble fibre, which also helps lower blood cholesterol.
2. Berries-blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries are rich sources of vitamin C and many other beneficial phytochemicals. They are a fruit that is lower in sugar and easy to eat.
3. Broccoli-is rich in vitamin C and indole-3-carbinol, a cancer fighting phytochemical. Try pre-cut broccoli slaw mixed in with your regular salad. If you will not eat broccoli, try other dark leafy greens such as kale, collard greens, watercress, bok choy.
4. Carrots-are a food that most people like to eat raw, so enjoy regularly for its betacarotene, precursor to vitamin A content. If you do not like carrots, try fresh carrot apple juice.
5. Dark chocolate-(try one with a lower sugar content, less than 5 grams of sugar per serving) is fun to eat and contains vitamin C and is a great source of flavinoids, another type antioxidant compound.