Antioxidant fruits are not created equal. Some antioxidant fruits may have more antioxidant content compared to other fruits. Others may have nutrients with antioxidant properties, others may only have vitamins. But whatever the case, it is still quite clear that antioxidant fruits are good for the health.
The human body derives its energy from the utilization of nutrients and oxygen as fuel. But oxygen, for all its benefits and positive effects, may also carry with it some negative ripple effect. When processing oxygen in the body (a process called “oxidation), oxygen byproducts are produced. These byproducts, called free radicals, are highly reactive substances that may cause damage to cells. The antioxidant substances found in antioxidant fruits may work to neutralize these free radicals and in the process prevent them from causing damage.
Antioxidant Fruits: The Benefits
Many people are already familiar with antioxidant fruits, such as citrus fruits which are known for their high vitamin C content or apples for their beta-carotene. Consuming lots of antioxidant fruits in your diet will help boost the body's defense against free radicals and oxidative stress (damage caused by free radicals). Oxidative stress is a process which many a scientist has linked with the development of chronic and degenerative diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
Antioxidant fruits may be plain fruits, cereals, and vegetables. Some antioxidant fruits may also be taken in dried, powdered forms, like dietary supplements or pills. There is some research though that antioxidant fruits may be taken better if you actually include them in your diet.
Fruit, vegetables, and cereals in your diet have additional benefits compared to taking antioxidant fruits supplements. Scientists point out that this might be because consuming antioxidant fruits in food may provide a combination of lesser-known but potent antioxidant substances, which may afford greater effect than that of any single nutrient or individual antioxidant supplement.
In a recent issue of the Journal of Nutrition, the total antioxidant content of several antioxidant fruits, including fruits, berries, vegetables, cereals, nuts, and legumes, was analyzed.
According to their findings, the overall best sources of antioxidant fruits under the berry category are dog rose, sour cherry, blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, crowberry, blueberry, and black currant. Under the antioxidant fruits category are pomegranates, grape, orange, plum, pineapple, lemon, dates, kiwi, Clementine, and grapefruit. For legumes, broad beans topped the list while in the nut category, walnuts and sunflower seeds occupied the first and second spots, respectively.
Other antioxidant fruits include kale, chili pepper, red cabbage, barley, millet, corn, ginger, and red beets.