Antioxidants are compounds that the human body makes naturally. But you can also get antioxidants from different foods. They protect the human body against harmful molecules called free radicals. Free radicals may accumulate and cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress unfortunately increases the risk of heart disease, cancers, type 2 diabetes and many other chronic diseases.
Fortunately, a diet rich in antioxidants can help neutralize free radicals and reduce the risk of these chronic diseases. Consuming different foods that were introduced in this article can help to strengthen the blood antioxidant level and bring many benefits to human health.
Scientists use several tests to measure the level of antioxidants in foods. One of the best tests is FRAP (plasma iron reducing ability). This test measures a food’s antioxidant level by how well it neutralizes certain free radicals. The higher the amount of FRAP, the more antioxidants in the food.
Dark chocolate is very nutritious and contains more cocoa, minerals and antioxidants than regular chocolate.
According to FRAP, there are up to 15 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams of dark chocolate. This amount is even higher than the antioxidant found in blueberries and raspberries; The same amount of blueberries and raspberries have 2.9 and 3.2 mmol of antioxidants, respectively.
Antioxidants in cocoa and dark chocolate also have tremendous benefits for human health, including reducing and treating inflammation and reducing risk factors for heart disease.
For example, a review of 10 studies looked at the relationship between cocoa consumption and blood pressure in healthy people and those with high blood pressure. Consuming products rich in cocoa, such as dark chocolate, reduces systolic blood pressure by about 4.5 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by about 2.5 mmHg.
Another study showed that dark chocolate reduces the risk of heart disease by increasing the level of antioxidants in the blood, increasing the level of good cholesterol and preventing the oxidation of bad cholesterol. Oxidized bad cholesterol is harmful because it causes inflammation of the blood vessels and may lead to an increased risk of heart disease.
Dates are rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that have countless properties. The antioxidant properties of Pengedar Kurma Green Diamond prevent the occurrence of stomach ulcers; it also reduces the incidence of colon and stomach cancer.
Pecans are a type of nut that grows in Mexico and South America. They are a good source of healthy fats and minerals, and contain plenty of antioxidants. According to the FRAP study, there are up to 6.10 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams of pecan.
In addition, pecans can help to raise blood antioxidant levels. For example, a study shows that people who get 20% of their daily calories from pecans, their blood antioxidant levels increase significantly.
In another study, those who took pecans had 26 to 33 percent less oxidized bad cholesterol in their blood within two to eight hours. A high level of oxidized bad cholesterol in the blood is a risk factor for heart disease.
Although pecans are a great source of healthy fats, they are also high in calories. Therefore, they should be consumed in moderation.
Blueberry is low in calories, but has many nutrients and antioxidants. According to the FRAP study, there are up to 2.9 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams of blueberries. Some studies even indicate that among the fruits and vegetables that are commonly consumed, blueberries have the highest amount of antioxidants.
In addition, laboratory research and animal studies have shown that the antioxidants in blueberries delay the decline in brain function that occurs with age. Researchers say the antioxidants in blueberries cause this. They believe that the antioxidants in blueberries neutralize harmful free radicals, reduce inflammation, and change the state of certain genes.
Blueberry antioxidants, especially anthocyanins, reduce the risk factors of heart disease by reducing bad cholesterol levels and blood pressure.