Nowadays, people are including more plant-based food like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in their diet due to their better nutritional content. For example, they are good sources of dietary fiber, have lower amounts of saturated fats, and are excellent sources of antioxidants. Also, studies have shown that switching to a plant-forward diet reduces the risk of developing diseases like diabetes, stroke, heart attacks, and certain types of cancer. In this article, we will explore plant-based foods rich in antioxidants; read on to know more about them.
What To Understand By Antioxidants?
These are the compounds that safeguard tissues and cells from the mayhem brought about by free radicals. Normal cellular metabolism produces free radicals, and consuming certain types of food of a higher metabolic rate increases their production. Remember that free radicals are one of the many triggers for oncogenesis.
Our bodies naturally produce powerful antioxidants like glutathione and alpha-linoleic acid. Apart from this, you can also get them from the food that you eat. For example, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, manganese, and selenium found in plant-based food are good antioxidants.
What Are The Diverse Varieties Of Antioxidants Found In Plant-Based Food?
Vitamin A: Usually it is the beta-carotene contained in most of the plant-based food that the body converts into vitamin A. It protects DNA inside the cells from harm induced by free radicals. Foods like carrots, red bell pepper, papaya, kale, butternut squash, mango, cantaloupe, spinach, and watercress are excellent sources of beta-carotene.
Vitamin C: Also famed by the name of ascorbic acid, vitamin C aids in heaving the immune system. It is found in plant-based food like orange, lemon, grapefruit, papaya, pineapple, guava, raspberries, honeydew melon, blackberries, strawberries, tomato, cantaloupe, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, spinach, and red and green bell peppers. Remember that it is found in all types of citrus fruits.
Vitamin E: This fat-soluble antioxidant is also known as tocopherol. It protects cell membranes from oxygen belonging to the reactive species. It is found in plant-based foods like avocado, swiss chard, spinach, collard greens, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, and oils like sunflower oil, canola oil, corn oil, rice bran oil, and soybean oil.
Lycopene: It is the red pigment that is found in food like tomatoes, sweet red pepper, mango, papaya, guava, red cabbage, and asparagus. Its antioxidative traits are truly powerful. Moreover, the bioavailability of this nutrient increases when plant-based food containing it is cooked.
So, make it a point to include the aforementioned fruits and vegetables in your plant-based meal to get the health benefits from antioxidants.