There are some exotic fruits that are so rich in antioxidant content you could just call them antioxidant fruits. The specific ones I'm highlighting here are the most common and well-known: acai berries, mangosteen, noni and goji berries.
You've most likely heard about
these fruits and their extraordinary health benefits and amazing
healing powers. Are they as good as advertised? Let's take a good look.
Anthocyanins The primary source of the benefits of these antioxidant fruits typically comes from their high anthocyanin content. Anthocyanins are a large subcategory of the bioflavonoid family, a subcategory itself of plant phytochemicals.
Anthocyanins are the pigments that give plants and fruits their beautiful colors. Plants and fruits use these phytochemicals and their powerful antioxidant properties to protect themselves against the free radicals caused by strong ultraviolet light from the sun. When you eat these foods, you get the same antioxidant protection for yourself.
Each of these antioxidant fruits contains its own unique set of properties that distinguish themselves from each other:
Acai berries have a generous amount of healthy omega fats, similar to olive oil. They also contain compounds called phytosterols, which may protect you against heart disease. They are being heavily promoted as a way to lose weight, but they don't really possess any weight-loss miracle components; they're just nutritious.
Mangosteen contains unique phytochemicals called xanthones that give this fruit special medicinal properties, unavailable in any other common fruit. Mangosteen also contains other potent natural compounds like catechins, polysaccharides, quinones, stilbenes and polyphenols that each provide different benefits.
Goji berries contain unique carbohydrate compounds known as polysaccharides that fortify your immune system and enhance the body's ability to resist disease. Goji berries are also considered to be adaptogens, substances with a combination of therapeutic actions. An adaptogen invigorates and strengthens the system while helping the body to deal with stress.
Noni is believed to contain more than 150 nutrients, including vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, C and E), minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and selenium), protein, amino acids (including all the essential amino acids), phytonutrients, polysaccharides and digestive enzymes.
The ORAC Standard. A laboratory test known as ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) is one standard for measuring antioxidant capacity. In general, ORAC values, while not a universal standard, are an acceptable way of comparing water-soluble antioxidants like anthocyanins to each other. On this scale, all of these berries register many times the antioxidant capacity as ordinary fruits and vegetables, which would indicate that they probably do offer superior health benefits, ounce-for-ounce.
For more information about ORAC values, go to my page on ORAC Values.
Antioxidant fruits come in a variety of forms. These individual antioxidant fruits come in many different types of products. Acai berries are available as frozen pulp, juice, and freeze-dried powders. Mangosteen and noni are usually sold in a juice form. Goji berries are also available in a juice form as well as whole, dried berries and all types of snack products. You can also find these superfruits in juices where they are combined with other fruits in a juice blend.
Any one of these superfruits, in any of the many forms that they come in, would be a valuable addition to your diet. It's the easiest way to get the benefits of several servings of fruit in just an ounce or two of concentrated juice or freeze-dried powder, or a handful of dried berries. In addition, these superfruits each contain unique properties that offer special benefits that you won't find in any other fruits.
Remember, antioxidants work in your body as a team. Although some users do report getting immediate, and remarkable, results, everyone's different. And just because you don't feel anything immediately doesn't necessarily mean that you're not getting benefits. If you're in good health to start with, you may not notice the type of improvement as someone who's chronically ill.
There's no magic bullet. You'll want to get antioxidant protection in many ways, not just one or two. Vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, bioflavonoids, anthocyanins and others — they're all essential for their different antioxidant benefits. These superfruits would certainly be a valuable addition to your daily regimen, but balance and variety count, too.
More Information on Antioxidant Fruits
Go to these individual pages for detailed information
on the different antioxidant fruits:
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