Some studies showed that people with low intakes of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables were at greater risk for developing chronic conditions than were people who ate plenty of those foods.
Goji berries are the dried fruits of two related plants, Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense. They have been part of traditional chinese medicine for a long period of time, more than 2000 years! Goji berries contain unique antioxidants known as Lycium barbarum polysaccharides which have been linked to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer and also help combat skin aging.
Dark Chocolate- Dark chocolate is nutritious, (luckily for chocolate lovers!). Not only does it have more cocoa than regular chocolate, but it also has more minerals and antioxidants. The antioxidants in dark chocolate have been linked to health benefits such as reduced inflammation and reduced risk factors for heart disease. A study found that dark chocolate reduced the risk of heart disease by raising antioxidant levels in the blood, raising levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and preventing LDL (bad cholesterol) from becoming oxidised.
Pecans – Pecans are a type of nut naive to Mexico and South America. They are a good source of healthy fats and minerals as well as high in antioxidants. Although pecans are a great source of healthy fats and antioxidants they are also quite high in calories, so it’s important to eat them in moderation to avoid consuming too many calories.
Several studies have shown raspberries and the components in raspberries to lower the risk of cancer and heart disease. A study showed raspberries to kill 90% of stomach, colon and breast cancer cells in a sample group. Moreover, the antioxidants in raspberries, especially the anthocyanins, may reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which in turn may reduce the risk of heart disease. Research in humans is on going.
Blueberries – Blueberries have been shown to contain the highest amount of antioxidants amongst all fruits and vegetables. Not only do they neutralise harmful free radicals, reducing inflammation and change the expression of certain genes, the antioxidants in blueberries, especially a type called ‘anthocyanins’ have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and blood pressure.