What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are substances that may protect cells in your body from free radical damage that can occur from exposure to certain chemicals, smoking, pollution, radiation, and as a byproduct of normal metabolism. Antioxidants can be found as vitamins, minerals or phytochemicals (special plant compounds).
Antioxidants are protective compounds that assist the body in its daily fight against pollution and helps it detox as well as de-stress. Consuming foods rich in antioxidants may be good for your heart health and may also help to lower your risk of infections and some forms of cancer.

Fortify Yourself Against Pollution by Including These Antioxidant Rich Foods in Your Diet:-

1.   Berries
Berries like strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are high in antioxidants such as anthocyanins, which may protect cells from free radical damage. Include these berries in your oatmeal, smoothies.


2. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers contain many healthy antioxidants, including capsanthin, violaxanthin, lutein, quercetin and luteolin. These plant compounds are associated with many health benefits. Bell peppers are also rich in vitamin A, C & E. Add all different bell in your soups, salads.

3.   Kidney Beans
This may surprise you, but beans are actually really high in antioxidants. These special beans are loaded with manganese and act as antioxidants. The free radicals in the mitochondria are reduced by the antioxidant defense. You can relish your favorite rajma rice & can include kidney beans in your soups as well.

4. Barley    
Barley contains antioxidant phytonutrients known as lignans. Lignans are correlated with lower incidences of cancer and heart disease because they are helpful in reducing inflammation and fighting the toll that aging can have on the body. Grains like barley are soaked and sprouted the antioxidant levels increase. Moreover, they become more digestible and it is easier for the body to absorb their nutrients. You can include barley in the form of barley water, barley khichdi, barley soup & barley chapatti.

5. Spinach
Young, tender spinach leaves are delicious raw or cooked. The dark green leaves contain many valuable nutrients, especially the antioxidant carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids protect the eyes from damage, and may reduce the risks of cataracts and age-related mascular degeneration. Spinach is also packed with numerous phytochemicals such as Quercetin. Quercetin has anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce the risks of heart disease and some cancers. You can make spinach omelette, spinach soup.

6.   Tomatoes
Tomatoes are packed with three types of antioxidants – Lycopene, Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Zea-xanthin is another flavonoid compound present abundantly in tomatoes. Cook tomatoes to get most of lycopene. Add tomatoes in your diet in the form of juice, soups or salads.

7.   Broccoli
Of all the cruciferous vegetables, broccoli stands out as the most concentrated source of vitamin C, plus the flavonoids necessary for vitamin C to recycle effectively. Also concentrated in broccoli are the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, other powerful antioxidants. Add broccoli in your salads & soups.


8.   Almonds
Tasty and nutritious, almonds are packed with antioxidants, Vitamin E.   A one-ounce serving of almonds contains about the same amount of antioxidants as a serving of broccoli. Love the crunchy taste of almonds? Enjoy them in desserts or savor them alone. You can soak them in water overnight so you can eat them the next morning.


9.   Apples
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples are rich in important antioxidants & flavonoids. Apples contain a variety of phytochemicals, including quercetin, catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid. The skin of apple contains the majority of the quercetin, as well as other beneficial antioxidants. Always eat an apple wit skin to reap its benefits.

10.    Beetroot
Betalains, the pigment which gives beetroot its color, is a potent antioxidant. Beets contain a high concentration of antioxidants & polyphenols that protects from the harmful effects of free radicals. Beets are also rich in vitamin C & beta- carotene. Beet greens are rich in lutein, an antioxidant that boost eye health. Include beets in your salads, soups, smoothies or juices.

Final word:-
Boost up your antioxidants intake by including fruits & vegetables, nuts & seeds in your diet to reap the various health benefits. 

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