Antioxidant rich foods are often referred to as “super foods,” a label that has been frequently used by healthy eating proponents like Oprah and Dr. Oz as well as nutritionists and food brands. A top 5 SuperFoods list would vary, depending on who you’re asking, but here are some that many authorities agree are very beneficial.
1. Red Wine
Let’s start with a fun one! We’ve known for a while about the benefit of drinking red wine, but only recently have we been able to pinpoint that it originates in the grape skin. Grape skin is high in resveratrol, an antibody grapes produce when fighting disease or injury. The most effective way of absorbing resveratrol is directly through the blood vessels in the mouth, a lucky coincidence since many wine-drinkers swish it in their mouths before swallowing. Resveratrol helps to repair cells and stop the oxidation process initiated by free radicals. It also helps you to think better!
2. Acai Berries
These dark reddish-purple berries are produced by a palm tree native to the Amazon, and the health benefits of acai are numerous. Their pulp contains an astonishingly high concentration of antioxidants, as well as fiber, amino acids, minerals, and Oleic acid, which works with Omega-3, which has a nourishing and regenerative effect on cells.
Guacamole, anyone? Avocado is one of the most nutrient-dense foods, full of fiber, folate, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin E. They’re also rich in mono-unsaturated oil, a “healthy fat”. A diet that includes avocado can decrease LDL cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol.
It’s a good source of Niacin, a B vitamin – another antioxidant that helps to prevent cellular damage from free radicals and lowers cholesterol – as well as selenium, tryptophan, copper, manganese and phosphorus. Although it contains gluten, it can be digested far more easily than wheat.
Amazingly, eating a handful of walnuts a day will reduce the chances of a heart attack by at least 15% and as much as 51%! It’s a high-fat food, but it’s the good kind of fat, with high levels of Omega-3’s, vitamin E and A, magnesium, copper, biotin, folate, and potassium, not to mention fiber. And if you satisfy your fat craving with a healthy fat, you won’t be as tempted to hit the drive-through for a dose of the bad stuff.
Our modern lifestyles subject us to stresses and environmental toxins undreamed of by our ancestors, but fortunately, help is available in the form of these natural SuperFoods.