You've likely heard about the hype of antioxidants swirling around the news and health magazines, but do you know all that they're truly capable of? Antioxidants provide powerhouse vitamins and minerals that can prevent diseases and boost your health to soaring new levels. Over 100 foods contain antioxidants including fruits, vegetables, cereals, bread, nuts, and spices. Fruits have the highest levels, and the top two fruits leading the way are blueberries and cranberries. These two superfoods pack amazing health benefits, so the next time you're hitting the trails on your next big adventure, make sure to throw a bag of dried blueberries or cranberries in your backpack.
Let's dive in to explore more about the amazing powers of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are crucial disease-fighting compounds. During your normal everyday cell functions, your body goes through a natural process called oxidation. During this process, a small percentage of cells becomes damaged and turn into free radicals, which can lead to a chain reaction harming more cells and possibly causing diseases. Free radicals are also found in air pollutants and other environmental toxins. However, the highest levels all happen inside your body by performing normal metabolic functions. (We can't do much to control these, besides not smoking and not overeating). Free radical activity has been linked to Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants work to prevent oxidation and remove damaging free radical agents in the body.
Antioxidants contain essential vitamins (such as A, C & E), minerals, and flavonoids which are found in plants.
Top 10 Antioxidant Fruits
Wondering how blueberries and cranberries stack up to the rest of the fruit world? We're about to show you. Here's a list of the top fruits and their antioxidant levels.
As you can see, blueberries and cranberries certainly take the lead!
Slows Signs of Aging
As mentioned earlier, free radicals are found in every human body and can be destructive to tissues and cells which in turn causes premature aging. Antioxidants combat this to provide healthier, more youthful, glowing looking skin.
Reduces Cancer Risks
Studies have shown that vitamins A & C in antioxidants have been shown to prevent or treat many types of cancers including lung, prostate, breast, oral, and skin cancers.
Vitamin E, C, and beta-carotene have all been shown to protect vision and eyesight. If you're worried about getting cataracts later on in life, you can start preventing it now!
Promotes Longer Lifespan
People who eat superfoods lead healthier, longer lifespans than those who do not.
Decreases Risk of Cognitive Problems
Oxidative stress is known to be a cause of cognitive issues down the road. Antioxidants have been shown to lower the risk of dementia, Alzheimer's, and other cognitive issues.
Helps Prevent Stroke & Heart Disease
Preventing tissue and cell damage, antioxidants play a key role in preventing heart issues and strokes. One study found that people with high levels of vitamin C in their blood had almost a 50 percent decreased risk of having a stroke!
Both blueberries and cranberries make incredible antioxidant packed additions to anyone's diet. If you're looking for a health boost to add to your everyday routine, try tossing some dried cranberries or blueberries into your usual nut mix. The texture variation will be a nice switch-up, and the fruits will certainly please your taste buds. Dried fruits are quick, portable, provide stellar energy, and are low in calories making it the perfect snack.
Now get out there and take on the world, confident in knowing you're fueling your body and adventure with power-packed on-the-go deliciousness!