Eating foods rich in antioxidants is essential for optimal health. Antioxidants are compounds found in foods that help neutralise free radicals, protecting the body from oxidative stress. Instead of relying on antioxidant food, it’s crucial to obtain them through a balanced diet with fruits and vegetables, according to Dr. Ushakiran Sisodia, a registered dietitian and clinical nutritionist. Increasing your body’s antioxidants can combat oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, and promote overall well-being, says nutritionist Nmami Agarwal.
5 healthy food which boost your antioxidant food intake are:
1. Colourful Fruits and Vegetables
Incorporate a variety of colourful produce like berries, leafy greens, and bell peppers into your diet. These foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, providing a wide range of antioxidant food that support immune function and cellular repair.
2. Herbs and Spices
Include basil, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, and turmeric in your meals. These herbs and spices contain compounds like polyphenols and curcumin, which have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, aiding in disease prevention and digestion.
3. Sprouted Grains
Opt for sprouted grains like quinoa, amaranth, and barley. Sprouting increases nutrient levels, including antioxidants, and improves digestibility, promoting better nutrient absorption.
4. Healthy Fats
Include sources of healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados in your diet. These foods provide essential fatty acids and vitamin E, protecting cells from oxidative damage and supporting cardiovascular health.
5. Fermented Foods
Incorporate fermented foods like yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi. These foods are packed with probiotics that enhance gut health and improve nutrient absorption, indirectly boosting antioxidant availability.
Additionally, certified child nutritionist Sonali Sarkar suggests incorporating antioxidant-rich foods such as pecans, blueberries, strawberries, artichokes, goji berries, raspberries, kale, red cabbage, legumes (beans), beets, and spinach into your diet. You can enjoy them as snacks, add them to breakfast porridges, or indulge in dark chocolate with a high cocoa content for a guilt-free dessert or post-workout treat.
The principal vitamins that serve as antioxidants are beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E, primarily found in colourful fruits and vegetables exhibiting purple, blue, red, orange, and yellow hues, notes Dr. Sisodia. Incorporating these antioxidant-rich ingredients into your meals, whether in curries, dals, stir-fries, or vibrant salads, can naturally elevate your antioxidant intake and promote overall well-being. A colourful and diverse diet not only tantalises the taste buds but also nourishes the body with essential antioxidants.