You’ve heard the argument for getting your 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but maybe you need another reason to choose an apple over a Snickers bar and steamed veggies over buttered bread. In addition to weight loss, clearer skin, and a better feeling body, fruits and vegetables contain natural antioxidants that fight aging. The free radical theory of aging states that we age because our cells accumulate free radical damage from exposure to smoking, air pollutants, the sun, and chemicals. To fight premature aging of the cells you can eat foods high in antioxidants that counteract and fight free radicals.
Next time you go shopping toss these antioxidant rich foods in your basket and eat to good health!
This tree-like veggie is known in the health community for providing the most concentrated source of vitamin C, a premier antioxidant nutrient. Vitamin C provides support of the body’s oxygen metabolism and lowers the risk of chronic inflammation and cancer risk. If that wasn’t enough, broccoli contains several carotenoids, which function as key antioxidants.
You may skip over these fruits, but apricots pack a powerful punch of antioxidants including carotenoids and vitamin A, which is needed for cell growth and immune system function. This fruit is also good for your vision, full of potassium, and contains a healthy serving of fiber.
These fruits may already be your favorite topping for yogurt and granola or a sweet treat after dinner, but these small berries provide the body with specific antioxidants that can’t be found in any other food. In addition to high levels of vitamin C and anthocanines, raspberries contain ellagitannins, which make up 50 percent of a raspberries antioxidant effect.
This tiny fruit is packed full of queritrin and ellagic acid, which fight off the body’s cancerous cells to prevent cancer from developing. Try to eat an organic version of this fruit or drink cherry juice for your daily dose of these cancer-fighting antioxidants.
Contrary to the popular belief that this water-packed summer treat is made up of only water and sugar, watermelon is actually a nutrient dense food that is full of antioxidants. This melon is full of vitamin C and lycopene, which is associated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer.
This yummy vegetable contains some of the most powerful, polyphenol antioxidants including quercetin, which fights against cancer and heart disease, rutin which is anti inflammatory and anti-allergenic, and anthocyanins that help with urinary tract health, memory function, and graceful aging.
Probably one of the most commonly known antioxidant rich foods, these berries do pack a powerful punch of health, especially considering their small size. One cup of natural, wild blueberries contains more antioxidant capacity than 20 other fruits and vegetables. For blueberries their antioxidant power comes from the blue pigment in the berries, which protects against inflammation, Alzheimer’s disease, and other degenerative diseases.
This leafy green is already loved for its high levels of fiber, potassium, and multiple vitamins. In addition to being full of healthy goodness, spinach is full of the carotenoids luten and zeaxanthin, which protect the eyes from damage, fight against cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration.
9. Kidney Beans
You may already love beans as a source of protein, fiber, and nutrients, but kidney beans are also exceptionally rich in flavonoids, a class of antioxidants that helps fight aging and the presence of free radicals in the body.
You may already know that oranges are high in vitamin C, but this particular vitamin is the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body. It works to prevent damage inside and outside the cells to prevent colon cancer. In addition it can reduce the severity of inflammatory conditions like asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Are you trying to lose weight? Now you can have your fruit and your weight loss too. Most fruit contains excessive amount of natural sugars that quickly converts into fat when eaten in excess. There are some fruits that actually work to help burn fat. Adding more of these fruits to your diet can help with fat loss. While fruit has many natural healing compounds, sometimes its sugar content can be a problem for people interested in losing weight. However, some fruits actually help you to burn fat. Here are my picks for the Top 5 Fat-Burning Fruits:
Avocado: Loaded with healthy Omega 9 fatty acids (the same fats found in olive oil, olives, and macadamia nuts), avocados speed the conversion of fat into energy and boost the rate of metabolism.
Coconut: Coconut is rich with medium chain triglycerides (MCFAs) which increase the liver’s rate of metabolism by up to 30 percent, according to some experts. They also help keep you full so you’re less likely to snack on junk food. Coconut oil frequently aids the functioning of the thyroid gland. Coconut oil, coconut milk (not the low fat variety), coconut flour, and shredded (unsweetened) coconut all contain MCFAs.
Lemons: Excellent liver detoxifiers, lemons also alkalize our body. They may seem acidic based on taste but in the process of being metabolized by the body, they actually alkalize our bodily fluids and tissues. Maintaining the health of the liver is also imperative to the body’s ability to digest and burn fat, since the liver is one of the organs responsible for these functions.
Grapefruit: Many studies confirm that grapefruit is an excellent weight loss food. In one study at Johns Hopkins University, women who eat grapefruit daily shed almost 20 pounds on average in only 13 weeks, without changing anything else in their diet or lifestyle.
Tomatoes: Packed with vitamin C and the phytochemical lycopene, tomatoes stimulate the production of the amino acid known as carnitine. Research has shown carnitine helps speed the body’s fat-burning capacity by one third.
How to Benefit:
It’s easy to reap the weight loss rewards of these fruits. Use full-fat coconut milk and oil in curries, smoothies, or baking. Enjoy a grapefruit for breakfast or as a snack instead of something sweet. Make your own fresh salsa or add tomatoes to soups, stews, salads, or curries. Make fresh guacamole with minced onion, garlic, lemon juice, and chopped tomato and cilantro.
Super Health Bonus:
Not only will these fruits help with weight loss, they have plenty of other health benefits too. Avocado helps prevent heart disease. Coconuts help prevent cancer. Grapefruit gives the liver a boost. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that studies show cuts the risk of heart disease by 29 percent. http://www.care2.com/