Top 10 Most Powerful Antioxidants to Protect The Body Cells

We need antioxidants because many free radical forming substances expose to the body. The external factors such as cigarette smoke (even if we are not active smokers), air pollution and internal factor such as excessive alcohol consumption can lead to free radicals production. Featured picture: Pixabay.

A free radical is any atom or molecule that has a single unpaired electron in an outer shell. The free radical theory of aging states that organism age because cells accumulate free radical damage over time. The theory was proposed first time by Denham Harman in the 1950s.

A balance between free radicals and antioxidants is necessary for proper physiological function. If the generation of free radicals exceeds the protective effects of antioxidants, this can cause oxidative damage which accumulates during our lifetime and has been implicated in aging and age-dependent diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic condition.

A balance between free radicals and antioxidants is necessary for proper physiological function. If the generation of free radicals exceeds the protective effects of antioxidants, this can cause oxidative damage which accumulates during our lifetime and has been implicated in aging and age-dependent diseases

Picture 1. Cigarette Smoke (credit to Pixabay)

What Is An Antioxidant?

An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Antioxidants are nutrients that help protect our cells against oxidative stress from the damage caused by free radicals. Oxidation is a chemical process which involves the transfer of electrons or hydrogen-producing harmful free radicals in the body. Oxidation leads to a chain reaction that may damage cells.

Why Do We Need The Antioxidants?

Antioxidants help reduce the accumulation of free radicals in our body. They help to stop the damage done by free radicals and therefore may be effective in reducing the risk of diseases. Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals – unstable atoms that have an unpaired electron in their outermost shell, almost like a knife without a sheath. The antioxidants act to sheathe the knife, binding with the unstable electron and stopping it from attacking other cells.

How antioxidant protect body cell from tha damages cause by free radicals

Picture 2. Antioxidants Protect the Body Cells from Damaged Caused by Free Radical

 

The other name is micronutrient or vitamin. Human needs more than 50 micronutrients every day to keep the optimum healthHealthy aging involves the interaction among genes, the environment, and lifestyles.

The Most Modifiable Lifestyles Factors are:

  1. physical activity or exercise, and
  2. healthy diet

Read more about the healthy diet for women over 40 here.

What Antioxidants Do To Protect The Body Cells?

Antioxidants help stop oxidation reaction by giving away one of their electrons to make free radicals stable, without making themselves unstable. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by donating one of their own electrons.

Let us watch a video about how do the antioxidants keep us healthy below

[VIDEO]

[VIDEO]

ORAC Value / ORAC SCORE: Antioxidant Value of Foods and Beverages

The antioxidant values of foods are expressed in ORAC ( Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity ) units, a unit of measurement for antioxidant content which was originally developed by National Institute on Aging ( NIA ) at the National Institutes of Health ( NIH ) in Baltimore. ORAC units measure the antioxidant capacity of foods. Potentially the higher, the better.

The ORAC value of given food will vary due to growing conditions, processing conditions, specific variety and others. We can know the ORAC Value of various foods by searching here.

Here Is The List Of Top 10 Powerful Antioxidants:

The ORAC Score is For 100 Grams (about 3.5 ounces) Serving

  1. Clove, Ground, 314,446 µmol TE/100g (micromol Trolox Equivalent per 100 grams).

Trolox equivalence is used as a benchmark for the antioxidants capacity. Clove contains at least 36 ingredients. The most important essential oil in clove is eugenol. The other important ingredient is flavonoids, that contribute to clove’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Clove is an excellent source of manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin C and K, omega-3 fatty acids, and a good source of calcium and magnesium.

Specific Health Benefits Of Clove:

  • Anti-inflammatory

Clove oil often used to treat the symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis.  We can inhale clove oil to relieve a cough, cold, asthma, bronchitis and sinusitis. We will often find clove oil in sore throat sprays and mouthwashes.

  • Analgesic

Clove oil can be used for various dental problems.

  • Antiseptic

Cloves have antiseptic and germicidal properties that help fight infections and arthritis pain.

  • Cure Many Digestive Problems.

Clove helps to cure flatulence, loose stools, indigestion, and nausea. Clove oil is known to act against gas and bloating. It can be used to relieve diarrhea, gastric irritability, and vomiting.

  • Reducing Mental Exhaustion and Fatigue.

We can use it to get relief from insomnia, memory loss, anxiety and depression.
We can chew clove like chew a candy, add it in smoothies recipes, or add it in cookies.

Clove is the first in top 10 powerful antioxidants list.

Picture 3. Clove (credit to Pixabay)

Adding more herbs and spices to our diet greatly increases the variety of antioxidants we get from our food.

  1. Sumac Bran Sorghum, 312,400 µmol TE/100g

    Sumac bran is a high-tannin variety of sorghum. Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses.

A new University of Georgia study has found that select varieties of sorghum bran have greater antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties compare with blueberries and pomegranates. Sorghum bran extract could be added to a variety of foods and beverages as a liquid concentrate or dried powder.

Sorghum is in the list of 10 top powerful antioxidants

Picture 4. Sorghum (credit to wikimedia.org)

  1. Cinnamon, Ground, 267,536 µmol TE/100g (micromol Trolox Equivalent per 100 grams)

Cinnamon is native to Sri Lankan Island and also grow in other countries such as Indonesia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, and China. The cinnamon plant belonging to the family of Lauraceae or Laurel of the genus Cinnamomum. It has been used since biblical times for its fragrance, medicinal and culinary properties.

Aromatic cinnamon essential oil features golden-yellow color with the distinctive tint of cinnamon and very pungent, aromatic taste. The taste and scent of cinnamon are because of the presence of cinnamic aldehyde, and cinnamaldehyde.

 Cinnamon Health Benefits are:

  • Anti-oxidant

It is a very good source of flavonoid phenolic antioxidants such as carotenes, zeaxanthin, lutein, and cryptoxanthin. It also contains vitamin A, niacin, pantothenic acid, and pyridoxine in a good amount.

  • Anti-coagulant

Cinnamaldehyde has the anticoagulant function. It prevents platelet clogging inside the blood vessel so helps prevent stroke, peripheral arterial and coronary artery diseases.  

  • Anti-diabetic

Cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity so that it has a regulatory role in blood glucose level and lipid and it may also exert a blood glucose-suppressing effect.

  • Antiseptic and Local Anesthetic

Eugenol in cinnamon gives local anesthetic and antiseptic properties, hence used in the dental and gum treatment procedures.

  • Anti-inflammatory

Various studies have indicated that cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon inhibits the activation of inflammation causing factor such as arachidonic acids.

  • Rubefacient

Cinnamon is externally used as a rubefacient, a substance for topical application that produces redness of the skin e.g by causing dilation of the capillaries and an increase in blood circulation. It is also employed to counteract the sting of poisonous insects.

  • Carminative, Anti-flatulent

An anti-flatulent agent is a drug used for alleviating or preventing of excessive intestinal gas.

Picture 5. Cinnamon (credit to Pixabay)

4. Sorghum, Bran, Raw, 240,000 µmol TE/100g (micromol Trolox Equivalent per 100 grams)

 

5. Oregano, Dried, 200,129 µmol TE/100g (micromol Trolox Equivalent per 100 grams)

Oregano is high in antioxidant because of the phenolic acids and flavonoids high content. It also has shown antimicrobial activity against strains of the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.

Oregano is one of the top 10 powerful antioxidants

Picture 6. Oregano (credit to Pixabay)

  1. Turmeric, Ground, 159,277 µmol TE/100g (micromol Trolox Equivalent per 100 grams)

Find the health benefits of turmeric here.

Picture 7. Turmeric Powder (credit to Pixabay)

  1. Acai Berry, Freeze-Dried, 102,700 µmol TE/100g (micromol Trolox Equivalent per 100 grams)

Acai is an indigenous berry from the rainforest of the Amazon. This fruit has been used for centuries as a healing, immune-stimulating, and energy-boosting fruit.

Acai Berry Health Benefits are:

  • Promotes Heart Health

Acai berries contain extremely high anthocyanins, that support balanced cholesterol levels and rich in plant sterols that provide cardio-protective benefits.

  • Improves Cellular Health

The anthocyanins in acai berry help to keep cells strong against the invasion of free radicals.

  • Has Anti Aging Effects

Acai berry contains extremely high phytochemicals that may slow or reverse aging processes.

  • Boost The Immune System

A study found that polyphenolic compounds extracted from acai berry reduced the proliferation of malfunctioning cells by up to 86%.

  • Boost Energy

Simply eat a handful of the berries and we will be ready to do our activities.

  • Boost in Sex Drive, Especially for Men.

The purple berry increases blood circulation in the human body, contribute to a boost in sex drive. Acai berry is a natural aphrodisiac.

  • Improves Cognition and Promotes Healthy Brain Aging.

Eating plenty of foods rich in antioxidants is a natural way to improve our focus and memory. Inflammation and oxidative stress are two major causes of cognitive problems, such as loss of memory, dementia and other age-related mental disorders. Studies have found that fractions extracted from acai berry contain brain-saving nutrient.

  • Promotes Skin Health.

Acai berry is useful for preventing early signs of aging and helping with skin regeneration. We can use acai berry to prevent skin degradation and keep skin healthy looking. Consuming foods rich in antioxidants helps the body repair damaged skin cells faster and maintain more youthful appearance.

  • Help Lose Weight.

Consume acai berry is useful to boost proper digestion and control the amount of insulin in the blood. Acai berry facilitates the breakdown of fats and carbohydrate and helps lower the desire to overeat.

  • Help Digestion.

Acai berry is a natural colon cleanser. It prevents the accumulation of harmful substances and undigested matter from staying in the colon that can cause constipation and other digestive problem.

  • Reduces Irritation in The Lung.

Acai berry contains properties that may prevent the irritation in the lungs associated with respiratory distress and swelling.

Consuming Acai Berries: Buy certified organic acai berries and pulp that are safer and taste better.

Picture 8. Acai Berry (credit to Pexels)

  1. Sorghum, Bran, Black, 100,800 µmol TE/100g (micromol Trolox Equivalent per 100 grams)

The sorghum grains had high antioxidant activity compared to other cereals. Black sorghum is a valuable source of anthocyanins with good antioxidant activity.

  1. Sumac, Grain, Raw, 86,800 µmol TE/100g (micromol Trolox Equivalent per 100 grams)

  2. Cocoa Powder, Unsweetened, 80,933 µmol TE/100g (micromol Trolox Equivalent per 100 grams)

Cocoa was an astringent drink for Mayan and Aztec rulers. Cocoa beans have a high percentage of the flavonoids called catechins, which are powerful antioxidants. Catechins make up 10 percent of the dried cocoa powder.

Cocoa Health Benefits are:

  • Antidepressant

Cocoa contains the substance phenethylaminea neurotransmitter found in the brain that acts as a mood elevator and natural antidepressant.

  • Help to Fight Heart Disease

Flavanols and procyanidins in chocolate and cocoa derivatives give health benefits on vascular function.

  • Help to Fight Aging

Raw cacao beans contain more than 320 various antioxidants. Cacao is great to boost collagen production. It can slow down aging and strengthen our immunity.

  • Lower LDL Cholesterol

Drinking cocoa each day may boost levels of HDL or good cholesterol.

  • Lower Blood Pressure

Flavonols found in cocoa have been shown to increase the formation of endothelial nitric oxide which promotes vasodilation and therefore blood pressure reduction.

  • Boost Cognitive Performance

Cocoa is a nutraceutical tool to protect human cognition and counteract different types of cognitive decline.

  • Provide Essential Minerals Such as Calcium and Potassium
Cocoa unsweetened is in the top 10 powerful antioxidants list

Picture 9. Cocoa Powder (credit to Pixabay)

We should understand that antioxidants are definitely not a treatment for cancer. The research is only suggesting that having less oxidative stress in life might prevent some occurrences of cancer before they occur, not after someone already has it. 

CONCLUSION

The elderly, especially people over 40 years old whose have bigger health risks, should be encouraged to consume a diet rich in antioxidants because there are many pieces of evidence that such a diet in combination with a healthy lifestyle lower the mortality rate by more than 50% in the 70-90 years old (Knoops et al 2004).

 

 

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49 Replies to “Top 10 Most Powerful Antioxidants to Protect The Body Cells”

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  2. These are really powerful antioxidants. I am fascinated with Tumeric. I used the link on this article to read some of the interesting points about it. I did not know that it could be used as a painkiller.
    Thanks for the helpful article I will be using Tumeric to help ease my Arthritis. Your site is very helpful.

    1. Yes, Luna. Turmeric is great. It can improve our health of we use it the right way. Last time I used turmeric was to cure my influenza. Mic a teaspoon turmeric powder with a spoon of honey in warm water and drink before night sleep. The next day morning you will surprise of the curation progress.

  3. This is beautiful information that I need to improve my immune system, which may have been compromised recently. Thank you for bringing this to our attention and giving ideas in who to accomplish this. These foods actually sound delicious! I had no idea that Clove Oil was this valuable.

    Lynne

  4. Antioxidants are really important as they help us against infections and diseases, thank you for this informative article. I know most of them but I am not quite familiar with the others such as sorghum and sumac.

    Although I only use cinnamon with banana bread, I think I should use it more often. What about adding it to tea or coffee? I see some of my colleagues doing it so maybe I should give it a try. I specifically like the smell too.

    My Indian colleagues almost always add turmeric to all of their dishes that’s why their food smell the same, whether it be fish, chicken or just plain vegetables. They tell me turmeric has a lot of health benefits that’s why they always add it to their food.

  5. I think cinnamon will be great for me. I do many workouts and according to Thoma Deluer, who is my mentor, I need anti-inflammatory nutrients in my diet. I think I can start with adding cinnamon in my protein shake. Do you think is it a good idea?

  6. Thank you for this great article. It is interesting to read the health benefits of such a wide range of plant life.

    Also, the importance of taking antioxidants to boost our immune systems.

    One plant I am particularly interested in is Tumeric. I have recently started taking a Tumeric capsule each day. I am sure I feel benefits in respect to digestion. I will continue for a longer period and expect to clearly identify the true benefits over time.

  7. Hi, what a fantastic article! I didn’t realise that cloves are such a powerful antioxidant. It’s amazing to think it helps insomnia, memory loss and anxiety. How fascinating. I’m heading off to the pantry now to try chewing on one! Thank you so much for sharing, Cheers, Karen http://kdforsman.com

  8. Love seeing all the amazing sources of antioxidants! I use ground cloves in a chai almond milk i make but I’ve never actually just eaten the cloves themselves. I’ll have to try that! Love cinnamon, use it all the time and I cacao powder! I don’t use sorghum very much so I’ll have to look into that. I always love experimenting with new foods so thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  9. I love this post, there is so much useful information here, I enjoy using tumeric every time I make quinoa or rice, gives it good flavour and so healthy for you! I’m have always interested in antioxidants and how they benefit our health, and most we can already find in our kitchen!

  10. Great post. Anyone who is into our overall health knows about antioxidants but unfortunately not enough people are into taking care of our overall health. But this post brings awareness to that fact and hopefully enlightens people to start.

    I am also curious if you are aware of redox signaling molecules in our body and how they can boost the production of our body’s glutathione ,which is the mother of all antioxidants, by over 500%. Important stuff. My wife being a nurse keeps me abreast of this type of health stuff and I am grateful for it.

    It helps keep me optimized…

    thank you for sharing

    1. Hi, Brent. I will learn about redox signaling molecules. Yes, glutathione is the mother of all antioxidants and we can get it from various sources. Thank you for your precious comment and you are lucky to have such a wise wife, lol.

  11. I’m happy to see that turmeric and oregano is in the list as I often cook with them. I’m not familiar with sorghum. Where can I find it?

  12. Great article – very informative, and I need the information. I suffer from arthritis, and have a family history of high blood pressure, so this could be helpful for me.
    I have plenty of ground clove, but I don’t know where to find sumac or sorghum. Do you have any suggestions?
    I currently use cinnamon in my smoothies, and I take turmeric capsules, but I’ve not tried clove – would it be too strong a flavor for smoothies? I must use very little cinnamon and ginger or they take over the flavor and make the smoothie hard to drink. What do you suggest?

    1. Hi, Steve. I have tried to chew a little amount of clover and I like the taste. I often eat it as a nastar part. I used to add an around 5 cm cinnamon bar in fruit cocktail and the taste is great. I add ginger and turmeric in fish soup, fish dishes, mung bean drink or make ginger water with brown sugar. Yes, if we use it too much it is hard to consume. Better we try a little first because too much if not good for our health. I also have high blood pressure family history so I avoid salty foods. We can buy sumac bran sorghum from nulifemarket.com. Thanks for commenting.

      1. Nice and very informative post. I love to use all these antioxidants as spices, they make the food delicious and have a lot of health benefits. And I agree with you when people use it too much, it’s difficult to enjoy their benefits! Thanks!

      2. I’ve just used more ground organic clove in my smoothie, and it was great. I blended 1/8 tsp of clove with a dash of cinnamon, fresh lime, fresh kiwifruit, frozen kale, frozen pineapple, frozen watermelon, almonds, walnuts, cilium, honey, stevia, fresh carrots, fresh ginger root, apple cider and almond milk. It went well with breakfast, and even my wife liked it (she is usually squeamish)

  13. Hi Melanie!

    I have those ingredients in the kitchen here. Only the Sorghum I am not familiar with. This post of yours has given me more informations I could get from using them.

    Until when shall I stay young and beautiful while using those ingredients? ^_^

  14. All that food around us full of many many antioxidants that save our life and we don’t know! Thank you for this detailed info about antioxidants and their important role in benefiting our bodies, it seems we have to focus on foods containing them to enjoy a long life away of disease!

  15. I am really surprised by how accessible some of the foods are that have powerful antioxidants. Especially cloves and cinnamon – super easy to find and not very expensive.
    Thanks to your article I will try to incorporate more antioxidant rich food into my diet – cloves and cinnamon first because you have to start somewhere 🙂

  16. I remember learning about antioxidants in medical school and I am impressed with the depth of knowledge in this post.

    The human body is a delicate system with many factors required for optimum performance.

  17. I feel pretty stupid. I never really understood what an antioxidant was and thanks to you I have a better understanding. I never tried clove oil but I am very interested because I have digestive problems. I also am going to start adding acai berry back to my diet because I am Vitamin D deficient and my immune system is affected because of it. Thanks for the informative post!

  18. Thanks for this article. It’s really helpful. Before reading this article I never know what does antioxidant refer to. My friend shared this article to me. Really thanks for all the unknown facts.

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