‘Eat at least at least 2 servings of fruit per day’. Or eat more berries or take more oranges, I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase before.
Why should you eat 2 servings of fruits per day?
Well, that’s because it’s good for you and there are numerous health benefits you do not want to miss out on and of course they fruits are rich in antioxidants.
What Are Antioxidants?
While there are many definitions for antioxidant, the one definition that suites this topic is this;
Antioxidants can be defined as any substance or molecule that inhibits oxidation, especially one used to counteract the deterioration of stored food products or removes potentially damaging oxidizing agents in a living organism.
Antioxidants are found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables. They are also available as dietary supplements. Examples of antioxidants include; Beta-carotene, Lutein, Lycopene, Selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
These are examples of antioxidants that inhibit oxidation, or reactions promoted by oxygen, peroxides and/or free radicals.
Research studies suggest that when it comes to longevity and overall health performance, some of the benefits of consuming antioxidant foods, herbs, teas and supplements include (1):
- Slower signs of aging, including of the skin, eyes, tissue, joints, heart and brain
- Healthier, more youthful, glowing skin
- Reduced cancer risk
- Protection against heart disease and stroke.
- Less risk for cognitive problems, such as dementia.
- Reduced risk for vision loss or disorders like macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Antioxidants are also added to food or household products to prevent oxidation and spoilage.
Vegetables and fruits are rich sources of antioxidants. There is good evidence that eating a diet with lots of vegetables and fruits is healthy and lowers risks of certain diseases.
Listed below are the 9 common fruits rich in antioxidants that will help boost your health and protect your body against diseases and age related health risks.
1. Wild Blueberry
These little berries are so rich in antioxidants. Just one cup has 13,427 total antioxidants – vitamins A & C, plus flavonoids (a type of antioxidant) like quercetin and anthocyanin.
Using a lab testing procedure called ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), USDA researcher Ronald Prior, Ph.D., found that a one-cup serving of Wild Blueberries has more total antioxidant capacity (TAC) than 20 other fruits and veggies, including cranberries, strawberries, plums, raspberries and even cultivated blueberries.
It helps Prevent cancer, heart disease, protects the brain, fight high cholesterol and age-related diseases.
Strawberries are also an excellent source of antioxidants. These berries are another one of the most highly concentrated antioxidant fruits.
The antioxidants found in strawberries have been shown to fight carcinogens and LDL (bad cholesterol) known to cause heart disease. Strawberries contain, anthocyanins, the antioxidants that protect against cardiovascular diseases.
They are also a great source of vitamin C, which protects your body’s cells from free radical damage.
3. Black Plums
For the highest antioxidant plums, the black plum is the best.
These are richest in vitamin C and phenols, an antioxidant known to prevent swelling and tissue inflammation, as well as the ability to guard against DNA damage and cell deterioration.
Black plums can be consumed either fresh or dried. Consuming good amounts of plums actually reduces the risk of having Type 2 diabetes.
Oranges are abundant in Vitamin C, the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body, disarming free radicals and preventing damage to your cells. The health benefits of this fruit are however undervalued
Vitamin C helps to boost our immune system, preventing colds as well as ear infections.
Watermelon as the name implies, has high water content which is about 92% of it’s makeup.
This particular fruit is very juicy and refreshing, its also very rich in nutrients such as vitamin A, Vitamin B6, VitaminC, lycopene and amino acids.
Lycopene is an antioxidant that is known to improve heart health and 2-cup serving of watermelon contains about 15-20 milligrams of lycopene.
The red grapes contain a lot of antioxidants.
The skin of red grapes in particularly are rich source of an antioxidant called resveratrol, an antioxidant known to fight cancer.
It has been known to keep cancer from beginning or spreading.
Cherries are rich in the flavonoids, isoqueritrin and queritrin, which act as antioxidants and work to eliminate byproducts of oxidative stress, therefore slowing down the aging process.
Cherries are also loaded with Queritrin, a flavonoid believed to be one of the most potent anticancer agents.
Mangoes offer an excellent source of Vitamin A and flavonoids like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin.
Together, these compounds have been known to have antioxidant properties and are helpful in maintaining a healthy vision as well as glowing and radiant skin.
Beets are one of the most healthiest foods on earth. Beets contain a lot of antioxidant and not much fruits can beat that.
They are a good source of vitamin c, folate, fiber, potassium, zinc, copper and iron amongst many other nutrients.
Beets are rich in the antioxidant, betalain, an anti-inflammatory, fungicidal which helps in detoxification. Betalain is also believed to help protect against cancer. They have tremendous health benefits.