Superfoods and antioxidants

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What makes many superfoods “super” is their high concentration of antioxidants, which work to neutralize free radicals and minimize the damage they cause to the body’s cells. Free radicals can be generated through normal bodily processes or introduced to the body through external sources such as cigarette smoke, pollution and exposure to the sun. Antioxidants from food play an important role in the body’s natural defence network.

What are the top antioxidant superfoods?

Superfoods that are particularly high in antioxidants include:1

  • Acai – Rich in antioxidant substances known as anthocyanins2
  • Rosehip – A natural source of the potent antioxidant vitamin C
  • Cocoa ‐ A rich source of flavonoids, which have antioxidant effects3
  • Elderberries – A source of anthocyanins
  • Goji berries ‐ Contain lutein, zeaxanthin and flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties4
  • Blueberries – A source of anthocyanins
  • Pomegranate – A source of anthocyanins as well as vitamin C, flavonols and catechins5

Other notable antioxidant rich superfoods include the blue‐green algae spirulina, which contains phycocyanin, a potent free radical scavenger and olive leaf, which is a source of the antioxidant oleuropein.

Different antioxidants have different effects so try and include a variety of fruits, vegetables and superfoods into your everyday routine. Antioxidants are often found in pigments, so making your diet naturally colorful will help ensure you’re getting the widest range of antioxidant protection.

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Published May 21, 2014
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