Antioxidants are either natural or man-made chemicals that prevent or slow down the cell damage in the body. Natural antioxidants are found in vegetables and fruits, some sea foods as well as marine plants. The most common dietary antioxidants are beta-carotene, lycopene and vitamins among others. The man made antioxidants are artificially synthesized and packed in supplement form and sold for consumption. In order to live a healthy living, one should take a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals .A healthy diet from the natural foods rich in antioxidants and other nutrients help build the body’s immune system as well as protect the body from diseases which is very beneficial to one’s health.
Among the antioxidant-rich foods are fruits, vegetables and whole grains among others. Dark colored grapes consist of high levels of phytochemicals. Some of these are the antioxidants that protect the body against heart diseases as well as some types of cancer. Anthocyanin and proanthocyanidin are some of the phytochemical antioxidants that help build up the body’s immune system. Wild blue berries have an antioxidant property too. This can be contributed to the high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin E, anthocyanin as well ellagic acid which are naturally found in the berries .These important components help prevent the cancer causing agents found in the diet or occurring naturally in the environment from causing cancer in the body. Beans especially the lowly beans have high antioxidant properties as they have high levels of both minerals and vitamin. Green soybeans are another major source of vitamin C, selenium among other important minerals giving them strong antioxidant properties.
Nuts are good sources of antioxidants in addition to producing healthy fats. There are different types of nuts and each one of them offers specific minerals, fats and phytochemicals. For example, the almonds have the ability to reduce the risk of suffering a heart attack or any other cardiovascular disease and this has been attributed to antioxidant action of vitamin E which is naturally found in this nut. Dark green vegetables such as spinach, kale, collard greens and broccoli have a high nutritional value including vitamin C and E which have an antioxidant property and help the body make the essential collagen necessary for cartilage formation as well as slow the rate of bone loss. They also contain certain phytochemicals including kaempferol which is a well-known antioxidant involved in protecting the body against cancer. Lutein and anzeaxanthin are naturally found in leafy green vegetables and they play a major role in preventing the body against macular degeneration.