Antioxidants and Heart Health
You’ve probably heard that antioxidants may reduce your risk of certain diseases, including many types of cancers and heart disease. Antioxidants help deactivate “free radicals” which can cause damage to the structure and genetic makeup of a cell. As a result, a diet high in antioxidant nutrients may help reduce your risk of heart disease.
Below is a list of foods that are high in antioxidants:
- Citrus fruits (grapefruits, oranges, lemons)
- Dark green vegetables
- Sweet potatoes
- Legumes (beans, lentils)
- Whole grains
- Red and yellow peppers
There is an important distinction between a diet high in antioxidants and taking antioxidant supplements. Most research has shown that supplements do not protect against heart disease and certain types of cancers. One possible explanation is that antioxidants are most effective when combined with other nutrients that are naturally occurring in foods. This is why a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may be the most efficient way to consume antioxidants.