What are Antioxidants and Where are they Found?
Simply put, they help quench free radicals. Antioxidants are the water to the fire that is free radicals. Oxygen is one such element which is beneficial but also results in the free radical generation. Antioxidants are nothing but vitamins, minerals or even enzymes which neutralize these free radicals.
Although there are many sources, we are listing down the top 12 antioxidant foods available in India you can include in the diet!
- Berries like blueberries, goji berries
- Nuts and seeds like almonds,
- Dark green leafy veggies
- Bright colored vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, tomato, pumpkin
- Green tea
- Certain herbs like clove, cinnamon
- Whole grains
- Seafood and Fish
- Beans and pulses
- Dark Chocolate
- Onion and garlic.
- Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower.
Whoever said you need the best antioxidant supplements that are pricey when you have natural antioxidants present in fruits and vegetables. Let us look at these foods in detail.
Antioxidant Foods Available in India
Colorful berries like blueberries, strawberry, mulberry, goji berry top the foods high in antioxidants chart hands down. That is because they are among the highest antioxidant foods in the world! Berries come with a host of antioxidant vitamins and minerals that help lower inflammation and strengthen the immune system. To know more about the antioxidant benefits of berries, read our detailed blog on them.
2. Nuts and seeds
The vitamin E in nuts and seeds along with the fiber make for an envious nutrient combination. Seeds are often ignored but they are a powerhouse of nutrients too. Here are some more reasons you should eat seeds if you are looking for weight loss.
Fruits and some vegetables are known sources of antioxidants but they are not the only ones. How to know which fruits to choose for good antioxidant status? Ensure they are seasonal and they are brightly coloured.
3. Dark green leafy veggies
Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, methi, dill leaves have beta-carotene along with providing vitamins A, C, E, and even calcium. They are also a rich source of potassium and magnesium.
4. Bright colored vegetables
Carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, tomato, pumpkin are all rich in vitamin A, a vitamin which imparts the rich color. Not just that, they are rich in vitamin C, B6, and fiber. You can include these veggies in soups, regular subjis or even juice them to make antioxidant drinks!
5. Green tea
Green tea is rich in antioxidants namely flavonoids and polyphenols like epigallocatechin gallate. These antioxidant cocktail act as powerful anti-inflammatory agents. What if this green tea is further fortified with antioxidant Indian herbs? Well, Truweight’s Teatox is just that.
6.Certain herbs like oregano, clove, cinnamon
Now isn’t spice the variety of life? But spice also provides you with so many antioxidants. Researchers turned their attention to spices and were pleasantly surprised. They found spices to be a concentrated source of antioxidants; surpassing even vitamin E, some fruits and vegetables. Oregano stands out to be the herb with the highest antioxidant activity. But there is a rider, use them fresh because their antioxidant activity is the highest.
To get the maximum antioxidant benefit from herbs, use them fresh! Oregano was shown to have the highest antioxidant activity among all the herbs.
7. Whole grains
By simply replacing refined grains like white rice or maida with red rice or whole wheat flour, you can significantly increase the antioxidant quotient in your diet. They provide you with the antioxidant nutrients selenium and zinc. They are also rich in phytochemicals.
8. Seafood and fish
Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, good lipids all make seafood and fish not just a superfood but also a food rich in antioxidants. Try to include fish and seafood at least twice a week to derive the benefits.
9. Beans and pulses
Before you frown upon the humble pulses in your diet, spare a thought that they provide not just protein but also antioxidants. They are a rich source of the antioxidant (even fiber) lignan. Apart from that, they also provide vitamin C, folate, calcium, zinc, and selenium.
10. Dark chocolate
Dark Chocolate is among the highest antioxidant foods in the world with a whole litany of antioxidants namely polyphenols, flavonols, and catechins. It even provides you with iron, magnesium, copper, selenium, and zinc. So it may not be all that bad to include 1 small piece of dark bitter chocolate when cravings come calling. Shave some dark chocolate gratings on antioxidant drinks.
11. Onion and garlic.
These household staples provide with allium sulfur compounds, the reason they smell so pungent. These sulfur compounds prevent oxidation of fatty acids in the body. In addition, garlic is also rich in quercetin, another powerful antioxidant.
12. Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower.
This group of vegetables has significant amounts of nutrients like vitamin A carotenoids, vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber. The active antioxidant present in cruciferous veggies are indoles, a strong antioxidant which protects attack on DNA.
So there you go, a comprehensive list of antioxidant foods that you must include in the diet! The best antioxidant supplement that you can have are these natural foods.