There’s a lot of interest at the moment about antioxidants – but what are they? And what’s the best way of getting enough in your diet? In this blog we’ll look at our top 5 fruit and veg that are high I antioxidants. We’ll also be looking at how you can get them into your diet in a tasty and nutritious way.
Antioxidants are compounds produced in your body and found in foods. They help defend your cells from damage caused by potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals.When free radicals accumulate they may cause a state known as oxidative stress. This may damage your DNA and other important structures in your cells.
Sadly, chronic oxidative stress can increase your risk of diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Fortunately, eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help increase your blood antioxidant levels to fight oxidative stress and reduce the risk of these diseases.
Scientists use several tests to measure the antioxidant content of foods. One of the best tests is the FRAP (ferric reducing ability of plasma) analysis. It measures the antioxidant content of foods by how well they can neutralize a specific free radical (2Trusted Source).
The higher the FRAP value, the more antioxidants the food contains. What are FRAP?
Although they are low in calories, blueberries are full of nutrients and antioxidants. According to a FRAP analysis, blueberries have up to 9.2 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams. Known to help delay the decline in brain function that happens with age.
Additionally, anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant is also in blueberries. Antocyanins consumption can reduce risk factors for heart disease, lowering LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Try our Blueberry Thrill for an easy way to boost your intake!
Strawberries are among the most popular berries on the planet. They are sweet, versatile and a rich source of vitamin C and antioxidants. Based on a FRAP analysis, strawberries provide up to 5.4 mmol of antioxidant per 100 grams – pretty impressive.
Strawberries also contain the same anthocyanin as blueberries – vital to protect against heart disease. A review of 10 studies found that taking an anthocyanin supplement significantly reduced LDL cholesterol among people who had either heart disease or high LDL levels.
Sweet, tangy raspberries are a great source of dietary fibre, vitamin C, manganese and antioxidants. Based on a FRAP analysis, raspberries have up to 4 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams – pretty close to strawberries.
One test-tube study found that the antioxidants and other components in raspberries killed 90% of stomach, colon and breast cancer cells in the sample. A review of five studies concluded that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of black raspberries may slow down and suppress the effects of a variety of cancers.
Berry-Go-Round, as the name suggests, it is full with raspberries – tangy and juicy and also contains strawberry and blackberry for extra punch.
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable and a member of the Brassicas. Other members include broccoli and cauliflower. Kale is one of the most nutritious greens on the planet and is rich in vitamins A, K and C. It’s also rich in antioxidants, providing up to 2.7 mmol per 100 grams.
Red varieties of kale such as redbor and red Russian kale may contain nearly twice as much — up to 4.1 mmol of antioxidants per 100g! This is because red varieties of kale contain more anthocyanin antioxidants. As well as several other antioxidants that give them their vibrant colour.
Kale is also a great plant-based source of calcium. Calcium is an important mineral that helps maintain bone health and plays roles in other cellular functions.
Kale Kick, with mango and spinach is our most popular veggie smoothie, and the easiest way to get all the nutrition you need.
Bright red beetroot is a great source of fibre, potassium, iron, folate and antioxidants. Based on a FRAP analysis, beets contain up to 1.7 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams. They’re particularly rich in a group of antioxidants called betalains. These give beets their reddish color and have been linked to health benefits.
For example, several test-tube studies have linked betalains to a lower risk of cancers in the colon and digestive tract.
Additionally, beets contain other compounds that may help suppress inflammation. For example, a study found that taking betalain capsules made from beetroot extract significantly relieved osteoarthritis pain and inflammation
If you’re not a massive fan of their earthy taste, try Dr Beet – mango and carrot, blended with apple juice make a surprisingly sweet and delicious smoothie.
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