The best antioxidant foods

The best antioxidant foods

In recent years there has been a lot of talk about antioxidant foods. Undoubtedly thanks to the popularity of anti-aging medicine, which I started studying and proposing several years ago, when few still talked about it.

The term antioxidant reveals the nature of these foods, or rather, of the elements that compose them, in particular the phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals. Research has amply demonstrated that some of these elements perform a protective function against the oxidative processes set in motion by the action of free radicals. Hence the denomination of anti-oxidants, in the sense that they counteract the oxidation processes at the base of cellular aging.

If you are interested you can find more information on the process in the following article: How to protect yourself from free radicals and oxidative stress.

Is it possible to follow an antioxidant diet? And what benefits can it bring in terms of health in the medium and long term?

The action of free radicals is now known and seems to favor the aging processes in particular: the skin loses luster and elasticity , more inflammatory processes are produced, especially in the joints. But even in the internal organs, the consequences can be serious: vision loses power, damage the nerve cells of the brain, favoring the onset of diseases and conditions such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease, increases the risk of coronary heart disease and so on. .

The intake of antioxidant foods is part of the secrets of proper nutrition because it is not incidental that a healthy diet contains mainly antioxidant foods.

To complete the diet it is possible to take food supplements that contain them, in order to overcome the limits of a modest assimilation, which are always hidden around the corner.

The most anti-oxidant foods

Taken separately, spices and nuts all beat in the amount of antioxidants, but as you can understand a full meal can’t be made of just that. Spices are a condiment, dried fruit a complement rich in healthy fatty acids that can replace snacks throughout the day. Berries are rich in antioxidants, but are consumed little compared to other fruits, despite the great variety. Among these, blueberries undoubtedly win.

Having said that I have already talked about the benefits of walnuts, it is not bad to remember that this dry fruit, actually a seed, is a special food rich in omega-3 fatty acids that have specific antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Walnuts contain a lot of calories so they should be intended as a complement or substitute. The researches are quite in agreement in attributing different properties.

Along with walnuts, we must include almonds, pistachios, cashews, macadamia, peanuts and hazelnuts.

Antioxidant fruit

A classic fruit of the spring season, strawberries are not only tasty, but are rich in fiber, vitamin C and low in fat. By strawberries I mean the actual fruit, not the essences or “the taste of” that often accompanies juices, ice cream and yogurt. Being rich in sugar it is important not to overdo it.

Fruit is a fundamental source of antioxidants, please consider:

  • red grapes
  • peaches
  • watermelon
  • mango
  • cherries
  • apricots
  • papaya
  • melon

It is always advisable to alternate and remain vigilant about the consumption of sugars. An excellent alternative is dried and dehydrated fruit, which can also be eaten as a snack on the go. Better the one without added sugars. This category includes apples, pears, plums, figs, dates which somehow belong to the Christmas tradition, but are good all year round.

Berries such as raspberries, the aforementioned blueberry, blackberries, currants, raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries. And with them the mulberry, elder, myrtle.

The antioxidant power of fruit can be achieved by consuming it in natural, homemade juices. But with the usual warning not to overdo it, as excess fructose can generate an overload in the work of the liver and raise the glycemic index.

Banana, pomegranate, grapefruit and apple juices provide a good contribution of these substances and can be drunk in the morning, as an accompaniment to breakfast (a glass as an alternative to the classic orange juice still valid).


From the point of view of vegetables and vegetables, which should form the basis for complete nutrition (moving from a complementary view to a fundamental main dish), the emphasis is normally placed on cruciferous vegetables. But that’s not all:

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Artichokes
  • Cabbages
  • Pumpkins
  • Zucchini
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Lettuce, watercress and other salad vegetables

In the field of vegetables, tomatoes can be considered at the top thanks to the presence of lycopene. The same thing can be said for all legumes, which being mainly carbohydrates should perform a substitute function for the consumption of bread and pasta (preferably wholemeal, like all cereals).

Spices and herbs

Returning to spices, for years I have insisted on the concept that as a “seasoning” they are better than too much salt or too much sugar. Not all spices belong to the Italian cuisine tradition, but there are examples:

  • oregano
  • red Cayenne pepper
  • black pepper
  • paprika
  • ginger
  • turmeric
  • cumin

And with them the classic vegetable condiments , also based on herbs, which are recognized for therapeutic benefits:

  • garlic
  • onion
  • parsley
  • basil
  • thyme
  • rosemary
  • mint
  • sage
  • marjoram
  • tarragon

All more or less present in our kitchen, used far and wide as a base for solid and liquid condiments, both first and second courses based on fish and meat.

Spices and herbs, in addition to containing flavonoids and phytonutrients, with specific antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions, perform the task of buffering the excess consumption of salt, directing one’s diet towards a balanced, strengthening regime that protects the cardiovascular system and keeps blood pressure under control.

The drinks

Drinks are often considered low in calories, and this is due to the fact that they are liquid and are therefore easily combined with water. But is not so. Given that supermarket juices should be severely limited and that alcoholic beverages should never be abused, it is no surprise that coffee, black tea and green tea are rich in antioxidants.

Research confirms these benefits, focusing on moderate consumption (coffee in addition to its stimulating power also has protective effects on the heart , if consumed within the limits), however daily. It is no coincidence that they are part of our standard breakfast. Surprisingly, beer, being a product obtained from the fermentation of cereals, also contains a certain dose of antioxidants, but consumption should be moderate.

Red wine has been a beverage at the center of studies for decades: the classic half glass a day has been repeatedly referred to as “therapeutic”, but the science has never been completely conclusive. Since it is obtained from the fermentation of red grape juice, it is rich in resveratrol, a polyphenolic compound that performs a protective activity against oxidative stress (debated is the fact whether it has protective qualities against heart disease and cancer. ).

The same can be said for chocolate and in general for the cocoa that composes it. Extra-dark chocolate has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

To conclude, in food choices it is good to focus on healthy foods, which provide the adequate supply of energy and do not represent an unnecessary expenditure of calories that puts pressure on the heart, liver, intestines, kidneys . Your health also passes through your eating habits, from your understanding of the nutrition phenomenon, from the realization that you can sensibly intervene every day to build a healthy path, which draws on all the fundamental resources for a life healthy, balanced, full of satisfactions.

If you are interested in how nutrition works, watch the video dedicated to potentiating nutrition, it’s free.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *