Antioxidants is a term that refers to compounds that are able to inhibit oxidation. Oxidation is a process that produces free radicals which in turn can result in chain reactions that cause damage to the cells of organisms. Antioxidants such as the enzyme catalase or superoxide dismutase and glutathione are produced internally to help maintain the complex systems of the oxidative state.
Antioxidant supplements have not been proven to improve health or prevent disease in humans. Nutrients work best when they are obtained the natural way. One should remember that the benefits of antioxidants ultimately depend on how they are absorbed and utilized by the body.
High Antioxidant Food #1: Blueberries
Blueberries are a popular fruit that is widely consumed. They are sold fresh, in juices, frozen, in jellies, pies, or as an addition to cereals. A blueberry contains vitamin C, manganese, vitamin K, anthocyanins, and other polyphenols. 100 grams of blueberries can contain up to 9.2 mmol of antioxidants. There are also some studies that have suggested that blueberries have the highest levels of antioxidants among all vegetables and fruits.
Research has also shown that blueberries may help delay the decline in brain function associated with aging by neutralizing harmful free radicals, changing the expression of some genes, and reducing inflammation. Anthocyanins also reduce blood pressure, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and the risk of heart disease.
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