Beneficial for health, antioxidants can fight against many ailments and they also prevent certain diseases. But, where do you find a natural antioxidant? What foods and drinks should you eat? We tell you all about this agent that neutralizes free radicals and has an anti-aging effect. Focus on natural antioxidants.
What is an antioxidant?
Antioxidants include vitamins (A, C, E), minerals (selenium, zinc), complex molecules such as carotenoids or polyphenols, as well as enzymes such as glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase. These substances are found in certain foods and beverages. In food, the antioxidant power is measured using an index called ORAC (Capacity to absorb free radicals).
Antioxidants oppose oxidants, or free radicals. These are molecules that disrupt the functioning of our cells. This leads to accelerated aging, weakened immunity, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, retinal disease, cataracts with risk of blindness, cholesterol, and certain cancers.
What are the best natural antioxidants?
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are rich in natural antioxidants. Some of the best sources of nutrients include watermelon, guava, papaya, kiwi, citrus, apple, strawberry, berry, tomato, avocado, asparagus, spinach, carrot, cabbage or beetroot.
The nut is the fruit that contains the most antioxidant. Then comes the hazelnut, provided with phenolic acids and flavonoids.
These two oleaginous fruits also contain vitamin E which has cardiovascular health benefits. As for lipids, they contribute to the proper functioning of the organs.
You can consume nuts and hazelnuts by adding them to your salads, snacks and dishes.
As for the almond, it also plays a role in the immune system, dental and muscle health. It reduces the risk of artery disease. You have to consume it at least twice a week to see its positive effects.
Foods with a high ORAC include chocolate (at least 70% cocoa), spices, red wine and shellfish.
The drinks : coffee and green tea
Both coffee and green tea consist of phenolic acids and flavonoids. In addition, coffee consumption (in moderation) helps reduce cardiovascular and digestive diseases. Coffee would also be beneficial for preventing depressive states.
As for green tea, it has virtues on the digestive system because it contains both proteins and minerals.
Rich in antioxidants present in plants, cloves are to be preferred. Also recommended in case of general fatigue, it helps to strengthen immunity.
Clove has many medicinal properties. Antiviral, antiseptic and antibacterial, it soothes many ailments and also relieves cystitis. Finally, cloves are also used in case of inflammation.
Thyme is well endowed with phenolic acids, which have antioxidant power to effectively fight against cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers.
On the other hand, thyme is also beneficial for combating states of fatigue and feverishness. It also helps to strengthen the immune system.
Thyme is eaten in small quantities. For example, you can sprinkle it on your dishes.
Rich in polyphenols, ginger relieves intestinal ailments such as cramps, bloating, flatulence.
It also soothes pain related to rheumatism, dental pain and sore throat. And it also strengthens the respiratory system.