Here are two antioxidants you’ve probably never heard of that you need to know...
A quick refresher on antioxidants. Antioxidants came to public attention in the 1990s, when scientists began to understand that free radical damage was involved in the early stages of artery-clogging atherosclerosis and may contribute to cancer, vision loss, and a host of other chronic conditions. Antioxidants combat this damage. Some studies showed that people with low intakes of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables were at greater risk for developing these chronic conditions than were people who ate plenty of these fruits and vegetables. Today we are familiar with antioxidant rich foods, like blueberries, green tea, wine, chocolate, kale, raspberries, and the list goes on. From polyphenols to lycopene there are a lot of antioxidants to know about. Here are two antioxidants you’ve probably never heard of that you need to know.
Syringic acid found is pears, swiss chard, sage, nutmeg, walnuts, black olives and more.
It’s best known for its blood sugar regulating properties. Syringic acid has been shown to inhibit activity of an enzyme called alpha-glucosidase, and when inhibited, fewer carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars and blood sugar is able to stay more steady – something we can all benefit from.
Kaempferol found in kale, swiss chard, leeks, broccoli, strawberries and more.
It’s best known for protecting cells against cancer-causing toxins, lowering inflammation and may also reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Researchers also believe it helps lower blood sugar as well as, strengthening bones.
How does it help protect our blood vessels? Interestingly, one of the mechanisms involved may include increased production of nitric oxide (NO), a naturally occurring gas that helps to dilate and relax the blood vessels, as well as decreased production of a substance that blocks production of NO.
We can all use more nutrient dense, antioxidant rich foods in our diets. Choosing colorful fruits and vegetables and cooking as much as possible from whole foods will help you achieve this. Keep in mind that frozen and canned (with out added ingredients) are also rich in antioxidants – so shopping healthy is for every budget.