Fruits are among the top sources of antioxidants. Learn which fruits are the best sources of antioxidants to add to your diet.
Well-known for their anti-aging benefits, antioxidants not only slow the aging process, but also protect the body against chronic diseases such as heart disease, certain cancers, and macular degeneration. In a study published in the January 2010 issue of Nutrition Journal, researchers found the best sources of antioxidants are plant-based foods. Fruits are one of the best sources to add to your diet to increase antioxidant intake.
Topping the list of fruits rich in antioxidants, berries such as blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, and strawberries offer the highest amounts of anthocyanins, the compound responsible for the various red, blues and purples of berries. Research suggests anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that promote a healthy heart and play a role in disease prevention.
Cherries are also rich in anthocyanins. Research suggests the anthocyanins in cherries work to reduce inflammation from arthritis, heart disease and cancer and may decrease levels of uric acid in joints which helps in the prevention of gout. Sweet and sour cherries are both a rich source of vitamin C which acts as a powerful antioxidant that boosts immunity and reduces the risk of stroke.
Green and red pears are a good source of vitamin C and copper, both of which help combat the damaging effects of free radicals. According to the George Mateljan Foundation, copper helps protect the body from free radicals generated during normal metabolism, in addition to when white blood cells attack invading bacteria and viruses.
Apples (with the peel) are a fruit rich in phytonutrients. These antioxidants work in the body to promote heart health, help repair damaged DNA caused by smoking and other toxic substances, detoxify the body, and boost immunity.
Fresh or dried plums are also antioxidant-rich fruits. Research suggests one plum contains approximately the same amount of antioxidants as that of a handful of blueberries. Although more research is needed, preliminary studies show that the phytonutrients in plums inhibit breast cancer growth without adverse effects on normal cell growth.
Boosting Antioxidant Intake with Fruit
Berries, pears, cherries, apples, and plums are all rich sources of anti-aging and disease-preventing antioxidants. Antioxidant intake is most beneficial when obtained through food. Easily boost antioxidant intake by aiming for the recommended five to six servings of these antioxidant-rich fruits daily.