In my last post I explained antioxidants and wether or not it was worth following the hype the media has built on antioxidants. As my final verdict, I suggested that antioxidants be absorbed only when found in natural context. It is best to avoid antioxidant supplements but certainly ok to indulge in fresh veggies and fruits which are full of natural antioxidants.
Antioxidants are believed to play a role in helping to fight and prevent cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic conditions. But not all veggies and fruits contribute the same amount of antioxidants. In a study published in the July 9, 2004 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the USDA analyzed over 100 different foods and their antioxidant levels. Each fruit or vegetable was ranked according to its antioxidant level and capacity per serving.
I am going to share the top 5 contenders for a rich antioxidant punch. It is important to keep in mind that the health benefits of antioxidant-rich foods depend on how the foods are absorbed and used in the body; this depends on what food it is and where it was grown, how it was grown, when it was harvested and more.
Here is a list of the top five most antioxidant rich foods (ranked from highest to lowest):
Small Red Beans (dried); regular consumption of red beans strengthens teeth and bones, can help you lose weight, lower the risk of heart attack and energize your whole body! Try them in this delicious recipe : http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=367361.
Blueberries (wild/organic); This little fruit softens dry skin, boosts your brain, and may even prevent cancer. Try this: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=887555.
Red Kidney Beans (dried); Kidney beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber but in addition to lowering cholesterol, kidney beans' high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal. Fabulous recipe: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=558584
Pinto Beans; Pinto beans are an excellent source of molybdenum, folate, and a good source of protein, vitamin B1, and vitamin B6 as well as the minerals copper, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium. Here is a great recipe : http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=331417
Cranberries; Cranberry extracts have been shown to inhibit the growth of oral, colon, and prostate cancer cells, in addition to battling breast cancer cells. Try this: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=374127