While we might not be able to reverse the harmful and degenerative effects of free radicals on our bodies from outside factors like air pollution and pesticides, there are still things we can do to reduce the amount of damage they do. Keeping your consumption of things like alcohol and fried foods to a minimum is one way of giving your body a better chance, and another way is to moderately enrich your diet with foods that aid in your body's quest to counteract them.
Small changes make big differences, so if you're new to this, stock up on the following berries that boast free-radical-suppressant benefits and give your body an antioxidant boost.
There's more to these shriveled berries than their sweetness. Goji berries have been used as part of traditional Chinese medicine since around 200 BC and have as much of a place in modern life because they contain compounds such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which aid in slowing degenerative eye diseases, and ethanol Lycium barbarum, which is said to have anticancer properties.
As wild blueberries are most likely to be found in Maine, Atlantic Canada, and Quebec, you're best looking out for the frozen kind. Although the cultivated blueberries you get at the supermarket contain the same antioxidants as wild blueberries, the latter have a higher amount per serving. Whether you opt for wild or cultivated, you'll be benefiting from high levels of the flavonoids quercetin and anthocyanidin, which aid the body in fighting cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
A serving (around 70 grams) of these underrated berries contains almost 45 percent of your daily value of vitamin C. They contain high amounts of anthocyanins, which create the deep red, blue, and purple pigment found in berries. They're a type of flavonoid that helps to boost the function of the immune system and whose anti-inflammatory properties can reduce the symptoms and duration of colds and flu.
These Autumnal faves aren't just flavorful, they're also high in flavonol and proanthocyanidin, which suppress the growth of certain cancer cells and aid in heart health. Although you can enjoy them as juice, cranberries have their highest concentration of antioxidants in their skins, so eating the berries will give you a higher hit of antioxidants and the added benefit of their fiber content.
Blackberries have high levels of several antioxidant-rich phenolic compounds including ellagic acid, gallic acid, and anthocyanins. As a result, blackberries boast a reductive effect on the growth of certain cancers like breast, colon and prostate cancer.