Antioxidant Rich Foods
Some of the most unexpected foods have been found to have high levels of antioxidants. While everybody knows that blueberries are a powerhouse of antioxidants, very few people know that the humble bean could also have equally high levels of antioxidants.
New studies that are being done suggest that in the imminent future beans way well be on their way to joining the family of foods that are rich in antioxidants. Some of the other foods in this group include potatoes, spices and berries. Very advanced analyses have been done recently on foods rich in antioxidants. These show that some of the most unlikely vegetables and fruits contain the presence of high levels of disease-fighting antioxidants. Some of these foods include Russet potato, artichokes and beans.
Particularly interesting is the fact that small red beans were found by researchers to be among the top of the list in the bean category of antioxidant-rich foods. As a matter of fact, it was found that these beans had a higher level of disease fighting antioxidants as compared to cultivated as well as wild blueberries combined. Blueberries have, down the ages, been known for their rich antioxidant content and of late they have been given even more importance with so much focus on free radicals and antioxidants. However it appears that the small red bean is all set to upstage the spotlight from blueberries.
The study also focused on other foods that are rich in antioxidants. Some of these foods included nuts as well spices such as oregano, cinnamon and ground cloves. The reason why their antioxidant benefits are not so evident is that we tend to eat these foods in much smaller quantities than vegetables and fruits.
Employing updated technology, the study assessed the antioxidant level in over 100 foods including nuts, cereals, fruits, spices, breads and vegetables. The antioxidant concentration was analyzed and each food was given a ranking that was based on the percentage of antioxidant per serving size.
Amongst all the fruits that were studied blackberries, blueberries and cranberries earned the highest ranking. Artichokes, Russet potatoes and beans were top ranked amongst all the vegetables. In the nut category it was hazelnuts, walnuts and pecans that were ranked highest in antioxidant content and in the spice category it was oregano, cinnamon and ground cloves.
Researchers have however noted that the potential health benefits of antioxidant-rich foods are not always totally dependent on the antioxidant capacity of that food. The process of absorption and digestion play an equally important role in determining the health benefits of any antioxidant.
Recently antioxidant rich foods are being given credit for helping cure or at least prevent a majority of diseases that are suspected to have resulted because of the attack of the free radicals on normal, healthy cells. This destruction of free radicals by antioxidants helps stop the ‘free radical chain’ reaction and also repairs cells that are damaged. Antioxidants appear to have some link to the treatment of various ailments such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease and cancer.