Do antioxidants help you live longer?  And how to eat more

Do antioxidants help you live longer? And how to eat more

If you’re focusing on everything you can to maintain a healthy, long life, you’re probably already exercising, eating a healthy diet, and trying to manage your stress levels. But among the popular things people do these days to keep their bodies healthy for a long time, focusing on including antioxidants may be a step that people miss.

Why? Although the data is mixed, some research suggests that the more antioxidants a person eats may be linked to a reduced risk of death among specific populations. A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition showed that diets with higher antioxidant capacity were associated with a lower risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and respiratory mortality.

What are antioxidants and how can they affect lifespan?

So what are antioxidants and how are they related to longevity? To understand what these compounds are, we must first understand what is going on in the body that makes them so important to have in our diet.

During our normal life, our body produces free radicals which over time can cause oxidative stress in our body. Although everyone experiences some oxidative stress, this effect can be heightened due to factors such as eating fried foods, high stress, and smoking. Too much oxidative stress is linked to certain negative health effects, including Alzheimer’s disease, kidney disease and certain cancers. Some data even suggests that excess oxidative stress is linked to an increased risk of early death.

Antioxidants can help neutralize free radicals that cause oxidative stress, highlighting why including antioxidant-rich foods is extremely important for a healthy diet.

It’s important to note, however, that while some data suggests that eating antioxidant-rich foods can help people live longer, antioxidant supplements don’t seem to offer the same benefits.

How to Include More Antioxidants in Your Diet

There is no doubt that antioxidants are important to include in your diet to combat excess oxidative stress. However, given that approximately 90% of Americans do not eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables every day, a key source of antioxidants, it is safe to assume that many of us are not including enough of this nutrient in our diets. our food.

If you’re looking for delicious, antioxidant-rich options to include in your balanced, healthy diet to make sure you’re getting your fill of these important compounds, here are six that should definitely be on your radar.

Berries

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Although there are slight differences in the antioxidant content of different varieties of berries, people can rest assured that enjoying these fruity morsels will fuel the body with a significant amount of antioxidants. So it doesn’t matter if you grab a handful of raspberries, blueberries, or whatever, it will help your body have what it needs to fight off some of the oxidative stress you may have in your body.

Dark chocolate

dark chocolate
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Chocolate lovers, rejoice! Including this indulgent favorite in your diet can give your body an antioxidant boost as well as that classic taste that many of us know and love. Thank the natural cocoa used to make chocolate for the added antioxidants, as this ingredient contains more phenolic antioxidants than most foods.

Coffee and tea

coffee and tea
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Yes, what you drink can also make a difference when it comes to antioxidants. Both coffee and tea contain natural antioxidants that may provide unique benefits for our overall health.

Pistachios

pistachios
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Pistachios are one of the few antioxidant-rich foods that are also a complete protein, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids normally found in animal protein. And a new study conducted by Cornell University and published in the journal Nutrients found that pistachios have a high antioxidant capacity.

In fact, the antioxidant capacity of pistachios rivals that of popular foods containing antioxidants, including blueberries, pomegranates, cherries, and red wine.

Small Red Beans

Red beans
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Believe it or not, baby kidney beans may contain more antioxidants than foods commonly known as sources of antioxidants, such as berries. Adding kidney beans to your diet can be as simple as incorporating beans into your sauces or adding beans to your chili recipe.

Oranges and orange juice

oranges with a glass of orange juice
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Orange juice is a go-to drink for boosting the immune system that many of us know and love. But this natural drink also contains a range of powerful antioxidants, including flavonoids, carotenoids and vitamin C. And since it’s a single-ingredient drink with no added sugar (as long as you Buy a carton that says “100% Orange Juice”), it’s a convenient choice for adding more antioxidants into your life.

Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD, CLEC

Lauren Manaker is an award-winning dietitian, book author and recipe creator who has been practicing for nearly 20 years. Learn more about Lawrence

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