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Best Sources of Antioxidants

Antioxidants are synonymous to overall health, vitality and vigor. Tap through to find out what are the best sources of antioxidants around you and use this information to derive maximum health benefits on a daily basis!
There's lots of people in this world who spend so much time watching their health that they haven't the time to enjoy it. ~ Josh Billings
Well, I do agree with the above quote, but only partially. You see, it is totally possible for people who watch their health to enjoy it if they only knew more about the many delightful ways and instruments of preserving and improving health that Nature and Creation has so generously and impartially bestowed upon us!
The best part about it is that these means of enhancing fitness and preserving vitality are all around us and that we often partake of their goodness without even realizing what good we're doing our body! That brings us to the subject of antioxidants and their role in imparting health to the body and the mind.
Now, before we take a closer look at some good sources of antioxidants, let's first understand what oxidation means with reference to biological health and how these antioxidants counter this process.

Oxidation, Free Radicals and Antioxidants - A Brief Overview

Let's start with the subject of biological oxidation at the molecular level. In due course of routine functions, the cells and other biological substances undergo a sort of chemical wear-and-tear in which it loses some electrons to an oxidizing agent that transfers oxygen atoms from cellular particles.
This oxidation reaction produces substances known as free radicals that are highly reactive when they come in contact with other chemical elements and compounds. If allowed to run amok throughout the body, these free radicals can lead to a number of degenerative diseases and malignant cellular growths inside the body over time.
Antioxidants are chemical agents that are capable of arresting this oxidation process, thus inhibiting the production of free radicals. This automatically lowers the risk of a number of serious diseases such as Parkinson's Disease and other neurodegenerative conditions, various types of cancers and tumors, etc.
Also, since antioxidants reduce oxidative stress on cells which are responsible for causing cellular damage and premature cellular death, they also impart more vigor, energy and an overall youthful appearance and feel.
No wonder antioxidants, Nature's very own anti aging products, are such a hit with everyone who wishes to delay the onset of the indications and effects of physical aging!

Richest Source of Antioxidants - Or Should it be "Sources"?

The primary chemical compounds that qualify as antioxidants are vitamins A, C, E, coenzyme Q10, flavonoids and other polyphenols, manganese, selenium, alpha lipoic acid, carotenoids, phenolic acids, citric acid and uric acid (accounts for about half of the antioxidant content of blood plasma).
These compounds can be found in abundance in a lot of foods and dietary components that we consume on a daily basis. Fresh fruits and vegetables, for instance, are one of the best sources of natural antioxidants around!
Now, let's take a quick look at what food items qualify as some of the best sources of antioxidants so that you can consciously include them in your diet to reap the maximum benefits of Mother Nature's garden of health!

Fresh Fruits and Veggies

Name any vitamin and I'll show you a fruit or vegetable that's a rich source of it! While almost all fruits and vegetables contain some amount of vitamin C, citrus fruits and green, leafy veggies are the ones that are the richest source of this antioxidant vitamin.
A lot of fruits and herbs such as apples, grapes, grapefruits, tangerines, berries, green and white tea, cocoa, parsley and sea-buckthorn are rich in flavonoids and polyphenols. Among manufactured food items, dark chocolate and red wine are the richest sources of this antioxidant.
Various root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, turnips and beetroot are also rich in vitamin E, as are tomatoes, pumpkins, mangoes, papayas, olives, fish and seafood. Almost all fruits and vegetables that are red, orange and yellow in color are rich in vitamin A and carotenoids.

Seeds, Grains, Pulses and Legumes

Nuts and oilseeds are known for their high vitamin E, coenzyme Q10 and essential fatty acid contents. Beans, legumes, all whole grains and cereals, etc. are rich in antioxidants as well as a lot of other vitamin nutrients, proteins and essential minerals. Coffee beans also have a good amount of flavonoids but much of it is lost during processing. Together, these nutrients fortify the body, boost the immune system and help the body fight diseases and heal wounds better.

Fresh, Natural Spices

Did you know that fresh oregano is an excellent natural source of antioxidant? Well, so are turmeric, cumin, parsley, basil, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, mustard, marjoram, sage and all kinds of peppers! Well, that precisely explains how natives of Mediterranean countries always look so fresh and full of vitality - it's all those fresh herbs and spices that they cook their meals with!

Dairy, Poultry, Seafood and Meat

Fortified dairy products usually have a decent vitamin A content. Lean meat and chicken do have some amounts of vitamin C while beef liver, eggs and fish are good for you if you're looking for replenishing vitamin A in your body.
In other words, we are literally spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding among the best sources of antioxidants that we can take advantage of to further the cause of our health and wellness!
However, while these antioxidants do excellent things to your body and mind, it is necessary to remember that too much of a good thing is not always a good idea. Keep things in moderation, especially in case of fat soluble vitamins, flavonoids and minerals as showing indiscrimination in consuming these can lead to serious trouble later on.
Consult a nutritionist and get a health checkup done to determine exactly which of these antioxidants you need to gorge on and in what quantities before running off to stock your refrigerator with these delectably incredible edibles!