Now if you are a summer savvy person, you know the dangers of UV overexposure! And if you are not one, you should Get into the habit of checking the UV index daily.
UV exposure has shown to cause Photo-aging or premature skin aging. What causes the premature aging is the formation of free radicals. UV photons promote the formation of free radicals. These free radicals damage skin cells by attacking cell DNA, breaking down collagen and elastin fiber..because of this, skin loses strength and elasticity, it starts sagging and forming wrinkles thus we look older 🙁
Free radicals (a.k.a Bad Guys)
Are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons and can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules and they can cause damage by interacting with DNA or the cell membrane(blah..blah..blah..you can read rest of Rice Uni’s definition yourself here). Let’s cut to the chase, shall we? Free radicals are the BAD guys that are out to harm our skin cells!!
Now the story isn’t all grim, silver lining is that there are agents called antioxidants that can combat the free radicals…
Antioxidants (a.k.a The Scavengers)
There are many antioxidants out there but the principle ones are Vitamin C, beta-carotene, and Vitamin E.
As a Dietitian, my Top 5 picks for foods rich in antioxidants are-
How to eat it: This is a no fuss food. Just wash, cut and eat it 🙂
Number 2. Indian Plums
Also known as Indian Jujube or Ber in Hindi is a fruit that is absolutely inexpensive and is loved by people of all ages and all classes!
This specific fruit is a great source of not one but three kinds of antioxidant compounds i.e. Vit C, Phenolics and Flavonoids. The combination of these 3 is what makes this fruit a true “Superfruit”. And did I mention how inexpensive it is? (Point is, healthy does not have to be unaffordable!)
How to eat it: Straight up, wash, cut and eat
Number 3. Amla/Indian Gooseberry
1 Amla fruit has almost 20 times more vitamin C than that of an orange! Still, Amla is my third best pick and that is because it is extremely sour/astringent in taste and rarely (if ever) is eaten straight as it is!
Find out 7 easy ways of eating Amla Here
Number 4. Sweet Potatoes
Not the whit flesh ones..the ones with the orange flesh; these are rich in beta carotene. Richer than carrots, tomatoes, squash and spinach!! Not only that, it is also packed with other antioxidants like Vitamin C, anthocyanins and are a great source of dietary fiber as well.
So what are you waiting for, gather your favorite summer vegetables, thrown in some grilled sweet potatoes and a dressing of your choice and you have got yourself a healthylecious salad. Check out this Southwestern grilled sweet potato salad Recipe
And the last and the best Number 5. Mango
Being delicious is no sin! I just do not understand why do people blame Mangoes for their blood sugar and weight issues (portion control people..portion control!) Mango is the best thing that has happened to mankind.. I truly believe that.
Mango is on this list due to its beta-carotene content…Now it may not be as high as that of Sweet potatoes and Cantaloupes but it has more than just beta-carotene; it is a very good source of Vitamin C and a significant source of Vit E as well.
A cup full of mango pieces provide enough Vitamin C to meet your daily requirement of the nutrient.
That was my top 5 antioxidant picks. I considered things like season, availability, affordability and taste were given equally important as of their antioxidant content while picking them…
Now, what are your top antioxidant picks? Leave the reply down below…
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