If you have been wondering, why suddenly people are talking about antioxidants and the abundant benefits it has on overall health. Well, the answer is that up until very recently not even scientists were aware of the amazing benefits of antioxidants and since they have been discovered, they are a rage amongst health enthusiasts across the world.

Today, we are going to discuss the amazing properties that antioxidants carry and also a few foods that are great sources of antioxidants. Be sure to speak to your holistic nutritionist to learn how you can incorporate the goodness of antioxidants in your diet by eating the right foods.

If you are wondering ‘what is an antioxidant’ – Antioxidants are basically substances in certain foods that keep a check on free radicals in your body and prevent damage to cells and tissues. Free radicals need to be controlled, as they are responsible for aging, chronic diseases such as heart disease, Parkinson’s disease and even cancer. Antioxidants contain a host of properties that make them great for a good and healthy life. What sets them apart is the affect they have on one’s skin because of their anti inflammatory properties and also their ability to reduce signs of aging on one’s face by making one’s skin plump, making them ideal for good skin care.

Vitamins such as A, C and E are very rich in antioxidants and so are bioflavonoids. Fresh fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of these substances. A few foods that you should make part of your diet to try and reverse the signs of aging and live a healthier life are as follows:

For those who are not exceptionally fond of spices, you should indeed develop a liking for the same, as these rate really high on the antioxidants scale. Clove has the highest amounts of antioxidants. Try making this spice a part of your diet, and remember moderation is the buzz word, don’t just consume cloves, mix it up a little bit, as the choice is vast. Oregano, turmeric, cinnamon, vanilla, sage and rosemary are great too.

You are probably jumping for joy, when you read this, but remember that the more processed chocolate is, the lower the level of antioxidants. Chocolate in its purest form of unsweetened cocoa powder and baking chocolate too have large antioxidant values. Dark chocolate candies too have large values of antioxidants in them. Milk chocolate on the other hand, has very low levels of antioxidants and in fact works towards making you fat.

Coffee too is known to rate high on the antioxidants value scale. It ranks lower than chocolate and depending on the brew, bean and various other factors will the value vary from coffee to coffee. However Coffee can have more negative properties then positive, so be aware and weigh out the pro’s and con’s.

If you like eating fresh fruits, make sure that berries are part of your fruit bowl every morning or whenever you feel like a snack. Berries contain the highest level of antioxidants compared to other fruits. The Tropical Acai berry and the Himalayan Goji Berry rank highest on the list, berries like blueberries, raspberries and blackberries too feature on this list of great sources of antioxidants. Strawberries, elderberries, chokeberries and cranberries too are a must have.

Nuts are not only a great source of antioxidants but also provide equal amounts of protein, fats and fiber that are great for good health. Pecans rank the highest in terms of antioxidant levels among nuts. Pistachios, walnuts, almonds and walnuts too are great sources.

Dried Fruits
Dried fruits are so rich in antioxidants, simply because the fruits water has been totally removed. The dried fruits that make it to the top in highest level of antioxidants are raisins and prunes. Dates, Apples, peaches, pears, plums too are a great source of antioxidants. However be careful as they have a high glycemic index (raise blood sugar level quickly).

Fruit Juice
While pomegranate juice, cherry juice and grape juices are great in antioxidant content, the fruit juice that makes it to number one on this list is – Berry Juice.

Cooked Vegetables
Cooked red cabbage, red lettuce, asparagus, broccoli and spinach rank high when it comes to antioxidants. Artichokes make it to number one on this list.

Black Beans and Kidney Beans are a great source of antioxidants in the legumes and beans family. Lentils, pinto beans and soybeans too make it to the list. Similar to nuts, beans are a great source of essential fiber and proteins too.

Colorful Fruits
Fruits that are deep pigmented generally have a higher value of antioxidants as compared to foods that are less vibrant looking.

So, look out for foods that make you look younger and fight disease. Your holistic nutritionist will guide you through the process of designing a diet depending on your lifestyle and body type to exploit the goodness of exotic greens and vibrant fruits so that you can indeed live well.