In the fast-paced lives we live, everything right from our online deliveries to the food we eat is ‘fast.’ Unfortunately, we don’t realize the harm we cause to our bodies by consuming junk food regularly. Add to this are our sketchy sleep patterns and stress levels hitting the roof – needless to say, the deadly cocktail leads to many harmful effects on our body, with inflammation being the most common. It’s a widely known fact now that inflammation is the root cause of many chronic illnesses. The rate at which chronic diseases are rising, impacting young and old alike, is alarming.
The whole question is – how can we tackle inflammation to minimize it and protect ourselves from a bevvy of chronic illnesses? The answer lies in the food we eat. So we need to be more mindful of the food items we consume and pick healthy, nutritious, antioxidant-rich foods to help our bodies combat inflammation the natural way.
Let’s have a look at some foods that are known for the high antioxidant content they offer:
These tangy, sweet berries are widely used across the world in different delicacies and desserts. Besides their refreshing taste, strawberries are known for their high vitamin C and antioxidant content. In particular, strawberries feature anthocyanins, antioxidants that reduce the risk of heart ailments by reducing bad cholesterol levels in our bodies. Anthocyanins also contribute to the red colour in strawberries – so the next time you come across an extra bright red strawberry, know it’s loaded with the anthocyanin antioxidant!
‘Eat your greens,’ they said – and they did so for all the right reasons! Kale belongs to the cruciferous family (which also includes cauliflower and broccoli), and thanks to its nutritional benefits, it’s also one of the most popular members of the family! Rich in vitamins A, C, and K, kale is also rich in calcium and antioxidants. Red varieties of kale are known to have higher antioxidant content as compared to green ones, with almost 4.1 mmol per 100 grams.
These luscious red bulbs are known for their subtly sweet, mild taste. Along with antioxidants, beetroot is also rich in potassium, iron, folate as well as fibre. The antioxidants in beets are known as betalains. The high fibre content in beet, along with betalain, helps reduce the risk of cancer while boosting the health of the digestive tract.
A perfect addition to salads and many other dishes, red cabbage is a powerhouse of antioxidants. It is loaded with vitamins A, C, and K and has excellent anti-inflammatory properties, which help our bodies tackle inflammation effectively. Like strawberries, red cabbage is also rich in anthocyanins, which work as antioxidants and help maintain weight and prevent heart disease.
When it doubt, bean it out! Beans are hands down the most nutritious and easy-to-cook foods you can find out there. The best part about beans is that you can flavour or pair them with anything; they taste just as amazing! In addition, beans are an amazing source of vital minerals, nutrients, and even antioxidants. For example, certain varieties of beans, such as pinto beans, are rich in flavonoids, which reduce inflammation in our bodies. Also, flavonoids help destroy the growth of cancer cells in our bodies, keeping us safe from different cancers such as kidney, breast, lung, and bladder.
Let’s top off our list of antioxidant-rich foods with something delicious – dark chocolate! Dark chocolate is a staple in desserts in different cuisines across the world. They have tremendous health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving blood circulation, and cutting down the risk of cardiac ailments. Moreover, the antioxidant properties of dark chocolate equip our bodies to tackle free radicals, resulting in an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
From greens to chocolate, we’ve listed the top 6 antioxidant-rich foods you can add to your diet. The best part about these foods is that you can easily add them to meals in any form you like – smoothie, salad, dessert – anything you like! So the next time you’re out there grocery shopping, you know what to add to your cart – these fresh, delicious, and antioxidant foods!