Do You Know Which Foods Are High in Antioxidants?
By Terry Roberts
Knowing what antioxidants are and why they are important in the diet with regards to overall health and wellness, plus also knowing what foods are high in antioxidants can help everyone eat better and smarter. There are actually a wide range of different types of foods, many which are common items in the daily diet, that are high in antioxidants and provide a great number of health benefits for your body.
There is a misconception that the very highest amount of antioxidants is found in tea and, in particular, in green tea. While green tea is very high in antioxidants, there is one food item that actually has a higher content. Believe it or not, dark chocolate is the winner of the high antioxidant food category. It important to understand that this refers only to dark chocolate, and does not include milk chocolates or white chocolates. Dark chocolate is produced from the cocoa bean and is in the purest and least diluted form, which is why dark chocolate is so rich and distinct in flavor. Although high in antioxidants, eating large quantities of dark chocolate isn't healthy either - just a small amount in the diet is beneficial. Dark chocolate contains flavonols, which are a type of flavinoid. Further breaking down the types of antioxidants in dark chocolate you will find procyanidins, epicatechins and catechins, this last one being the same antioxidant found in green tea.
Berries have long been recognized as a healthy addition to the diet, but now researchers and nutritionists know why. Berries, particularly strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and kiwi fruit, provide a large amount of antioxidants to the diet, plus they also add fiber, vitamins and great taste. Consider eating berries on your cereal or as a dessert rather than cake or pie. Berries also make an easy to carry snack for kids and are simple to have at your desk for between meal cravings.
Many vegetables are also high antioxidant food types and generally they include the green leafy vegetables. Some good examples of high antioxidant content vegetables include green and red cabbage, kale, spinach, broccoli and cauliflower. All of these vegetables are in the cruciferous group of vegetables along with bok choy, and Brussels sprouts. Eating these vegetables on a daily basis, or even adding one or two servings per week in addition to your regular diet, will help increase the amount of antioxidants available for your body to use.
Whenever planning to add more high antioxidant foods to your diet, be sure to do so reasonably and slowly, not all at once. In addition don't only eat foods that are high antioxidant foods, you also need to consume complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, brown rice and cereals; proteins such as lean meats and fish, as well as other vegetables and fruits. Keep in mind that eating in balance helps your body with vitamins and minerals that are also necessary in the production of antioxidants as well as in overall health.
About the Author: Terry Roberts is a professional translator and linguist with a wide range of hobbies. His website, Healthful Living Today , gives great advice for everyone - don't miss his Top Ten Antioxidant Food Sources .