LET’S look at some incredibly powerful superfoods that may not be available in your corner grocery store. This post from Breaking Muscle shares a list of 10 exotic super foods!
Last week I discussed my top 10 supermarket superfoods; this week I will be counting down my top 10 exotic super foods. But before I get started, one thing that came up quite a bit in last week’s article was the role that antioxidants play in the foods I was discussing. I feel the need to briefly discuss what exactly antioxidants are and their role in our health care.
What Are Antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances that prevent or reduce the damage caused by oxidation and neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals are the cause of degenerative conditions like arthritis, damage to nerve cells in the brain, deterioration of eyesight, accelerated aging and certain cancers
Antioxidants include the minerals copper, zinc and selenium, as well as the vitamins A, C and E. Other compounds found in food, such as zoochemicals from animal products and phytochemicals in plants, are thought to have a greater antioxidant effect than either vitamins or minerals. These are known as nonnutrient antioxidants and include lycopene, which is found in tomatoes, and anthocyanins, which are found in cranberries.
Common sources of antioxidants include:
- Anthocyanins—eggplant, grapes and berries;
- Beta-carotene—pumpkin, mangoes, apricots, carrots, spinach and parsley;
- Catechins—Red wine and tea;
- Copper—Seafood, lean meat, milk and nuts;
- Cryptoxanthins—Red capsicum, pumpkin, and mangoes;
- Flavonoids—Tea, green tea, citrus fruits, red wine, onion, and apples;
- Lutein—Leafy greens like spinach, and corn;
- Lycopene—Tomatoes, pink grapefruit and watermelon
- Polyphenols—Thyme and oregano;
- Vitamin C—Oranges, black currants, kiwi fruit, mangoes, spinach, broccoli, capsicum, and strawberries; and
- Vitamin E—Vegetable oils (such as wheatgerm oil), avocados, nuts, seeds, and whole grains;