10 Healthy Antioxidant Rich Foods

You probably already know that a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, consuming alcohol, and smoking may all speed up ageing and illness. But have you ever wondered why?


The answer, in part, can be explained by free radicals.


Free radicals are formed either by metabolic processes occurring in the body or from external sources such as x-rays, ozone, smoking, air pollutants,  and industrial chemicals. Free radicals can cause damage to cell walls, cell structure and the genetic material of the cell and oxidise LDL cholesterol leading to heart attacks. Consuming antioxidant-rich foods preserve cell integrity and prevent damage to the DNA. Antioxidants are moleculesthat are known to protect our body from the harmful effects of excess free radicals by binding with oxidants. 


It is important to maintain a balance between free radicals and antioxidants. Foods high in antioxidants have been linked to reducing the risk of chronic oxidative stress-related diseases of the cardiovascular system, such as coronary heart disease and high blood pressure by scavenging free radicals and inhibiting oxidant formations. Antioxidants, especially flavonoids, help significantly reduce inflammation. It is therefore imperative to consume antioxidant-rich food every day to maintain heart health. 


In this article we will reveal 10 of the best antioxidant-rich foods to help you fight free radicals and maintain a healthy heart and other organs in the long run. 


1. Berries   

Berries are a powerhouse of nutrients. Fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and cranberries are rich sources of vitamins and fibre. Studies reveal that regular consumption of berries can help reduce inflammation and significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.  Although all the fruits in this family have great health benefits, blueberries can be considered the best among antioxidant-rich foods. It is rich in a specific kind of antioxidant called anthocyanins which help manage complications like obesity and cardiovascular diseases.


2. Dark chocolate

If you want to up your antioxidant intake, consider adding dark chocolate (above 70% cocoa content) to your diet. Research says a single serving is also a source of antioxidants.  Dark chocolate has a high cocoa content, a rich source of flavonoids, which have been shown to lower inflammation levels, improve cardiovascular health and maintain normal cholesterol levels in the body. Make sure to not consume in excess and watch the sugar content of these chocolates. 

3. Beetroot

Beetroot contains high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory polyphenols. They are rich in nitrates that directly impact the smooth functioning of the cardiovascular system. Studies reveal that regular consumption of beetroot juice can improve blood pressure levels, better cognition and help with overall health. Consuming beetroots as a salad before your meal can also be a good way to incorporate them into your daily diet.  

4. Spinach

Dark leafy vegetables are naturally rich in antioxidants, and spinach is one such good example. It is low in calories and contains many vitamins, minerals and fibres. This green leafy vegetable is packed with vitamins A, C and K, which have many protective benefits for the body.  Spinach contains lutein and zeaxanthin which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities. 

5. Guavas

This delicious fruit is a rich source of antioxidants and essential vitamins such as vitamins A and C, lycopene and fibre. Studies reveal that different part of the plant exhibits different benefits. Guava improves blood flow throughout the body, improve digestion, reduce oxidative stress to the heart, and help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The nutrients in guava also have beneficial properties for the body. 

6. Beans

An essential member of the legumes family, beans are ranked high in the antioxidant food list. They contain a certain kind of antioxidant called kaempferol which has anti-inflammatory benefits. It is also rich in dietary fibre, which can come in handy in improving digestion and forming healthy intestinal micro bacteria. Beans are also good sources of plant protein, these have protective effects and improve overall health. 

7. Oatmeal

Among the healthier breakfast choices, oatmeal is packed with protein, dietary fibre, vitamins B, C, E and K and calcium. It is filling and nutritious and can be topped with nuts or vegetables of your choice, making it tasty.Studies show that oats are rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene, polyphenols, flavonoids and chlorophyll. They scavenge free radicals, protect against cell damage and activate cell repair. Oats are a good source of soluble fibre – beta-gluten. Beta-gluten is beneficial for overall health helping with satiety and reducing cholesterol. A healthy oatmeal breakfast is a good way to incorporate oats into the diet. 

8. Pomegranates

Pomegranates are a rich source of many different antioxidants, including ellagic acids, gallic acids, anthocyanins, and ellagitannins.  The antioxidants in pomegranates, particularly polyphenols like ellagic acid and tannins, may help reduce inflammation in the body and lower cholesterol levels, which can help prevent heart disease. Pomegranates are a good source of dietary fibre, which is important for maintaining healthy digestion.

9. Turmeric

One of India’s most loved spice, made it to the top 10 antioxidant food list. Turmeric is also well regarded for its medicinal properties and contains vital components. Turmeric contains the antioxidant curcumin, which is anti-inflammatory and increases the body’s ability to produce antioxidants. It also helps in reducing oxidation in the body. Consuming turmeric along with pepper increases its bioavailability. Its anti-inflammatory property makes turmeric and milk a famous home remedy to cure a cold and cough in India.

10. Nuts

Last but not least, nuts are considered among foods high in antioxidants. Although they have a high fat and calorie content, they have many health benefits. Nuts contain healthy fatty acids that help overall health. Based on studies, regular nut consumption may have beneficial effects against certain chronic conditions.


Nuts contain many different carotenoids, phytosterols (plant steroids) and ellagic acids with strong antioxidant properties. Also, out of all the nuts, pecan and walnuts have shown the highest ability to scavenge free radicals. A handful of soaked nuts can be consumed first thing in the morning as part of a healthy diet. 


So, there you have it, a comprehensive list of the top 10 antioxidant-rich foods you must definitely add to your heart-healthy diet plan to improve your health and overall well-being. 


However, eating food that contains antioxidants is not enough; you should also use cooking oils packed with antioxidants. Saffola Total blended cooking oil has an advanced antioxidant system with the power of 5 antioxidants like Oryzanol, Tocopherol,  Tocotrienols, Phytosterol and Squalene. Its active antioxidant system fights free radicals and prevents oxidative damage exhibiting a protective effect on heart health.


Health Benefits Of Running & Its Effect On Heart

Running is a great form of physical activity that can have many benefits for your overall health, including your heart health. It has proven to be supportive of your cardiovascular system. It is no secret that running is one of the most effective ways to stay fit and healthy. Regular running can help obtain better heart health by improving overall cardiovascular fitness. Let’s see how…

How is running good for your heart health? 

Here are some of the health benefits of physical activity for your overall health  


  • Lowering blood pressure: Regular running can help manage your blood pressure, which is a good indicator of overall heart health.


  • Reducing stress: Running can helpmanage stress and improve mental health, which can  help have a positive impact on heart health.


  • Burning calories: Running can help you burn calories and maintain a healthy weight, which can also help protect your heart.


  • Strengthening the heart: Running can help strengthen your heart and improve its function and can improve overall cardiovascular health.


  • Improving cardiovascular fitness: Running can help improve your cardiovascular fitness, which is the ability of your heart and blood vessels to deliver oxygen to your muscles during physical activity. This can help you obtain better overall and heart health. 

What is the right amount of running?


The right amount of running for heart health depends on an individual’s age, fitness level and overall health. It is essential to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of runs. A beginner runner may start with two or three runs per week, with each run lasting 15-20 minutes. As the body adapts, the runner can gradually increase the duration and frequency of runs. Setting a routine helps in improving running fitness. It is crucial to stretch after a run. Stretch both legs 2-3 times and hold each stretch for 45 seconds. Make sure to train, rest, hydrate and follow a healthy diet to maintain good physical health. 


It is also important to consider the overall health status of an individual before engaging in intense or excessive running. Individuals with a history of heart disease or other underlying health conditions should consult with their doctor before starting a running program. Additionally, older adults and individuals with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or other risk factors for heart disease should take extra precautions when starting a running program.

Is long-distance running good for the heart? 

Long-distance running is also good for the heart. It is important to start slowly, and then gradually increase the intensity, and know when to stop or consult a doctor before starting a long-distance running program especially if you are a heart patient. By following these guidelines, runners can enjoy the many benefits of running for overall and heart health while managing the risk of diseases including heart disease.


However, it is important to note that excessive running can lead to injuries and chronic fatigue, which can increase the risk of heart disease. Studies have also shown that excessive running (32 km a week) can lead to a condition called “athlete’s heart,” which is characterised by an enlarged heart and thickened heart walls. 


The Takeaway

In conclusion, running has numerous benefits that extend far beyond physical fitness. It can improve mental health, boost self-esteem, and increase longevity, among other things. Most importantly, running has a positive impact on heart health. However, it’s essential to remember that running alone is not enough to maintain a healthy heart. Also, it’s imperative to check with your healthcare professional on the amount of exertion basis the underlying physiological condition. A heart-healthy balanced diet full of nutrients is crucial to overall heart health. You can also opt for a heart-healthy cooking oil like Saffola Gold which has natural antioxidants that help build immunity and keep your heart strong.

So, lace up those running shoes and hit the pavement, but don’t forget to nourish your heart with ample amounts of nutritious foods and moderate amounts of heart-healthy oils like Saffola Gold!

Read more: Tips To Stay Healthy While Working from Home


10 Healthy Eating Habits For A Heart-Healthy Diet

Most people know that a healthy diet with optimum protein, rich in fruits and vegetables and an adequate intake of water provides numerous health benefits to the body. But the challenge is incorporating healthy eating habits into your daily routine without getting overwhelmed. 


The key is to take small yet significant steps to make your regular diet healthier. The choices you make each day will have a big impact on your overall health and well-being. Here are 10 excellent healthy eating tips that will ensure your body gets all the nutrients it needs to function in the most efficient manner. 


1. Have breakfast daily

Breakfast is called the king of all meals for a reason. If you think skipping breakfast will help you lose weight, think again. After waking up from your overnight sleep, the body has not received any nutrition for 6-8 hours. Breakfast replenishes the store of nutrients and energy in the body. 


A healthy breakfast high in minerals and fibre but low in sugar, fat and salt can kickstart your metabolism and helps you get through the day. When you skip breakfast, you tend to overeat in the next meal due to hunger pangs. 

2. Eat more fruits and vegetables

Vegetables and fruits are also synonymous with foods good for the heart. An excellent way to ensure you get your daily portion of vegetables and fruits is to eat them at the beginning of the meal. Starting your meal with a salad helps you fill up on fibre and reduces hunger. ICMR recommends consuming 300g of vegetables and about 100g of fresh fruits a day.  Fruits form an important food component of your diet. Fruits are rich in water, fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. The natural sugar found in fruits is digested slowly due to the presence of fibre, reducing major spikes in blood sugar levels. Consume at least 1 fruit (100g) a day.  Consuming fruit juices (even 100%) is not a healthy replacement for fruits as they are devoid of fibre. 

3. Choose the right oil for cooking 

Saturated and trans fat can increase the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood. It is usually found in foods such as red meat, hard cheese, ghee, butter, cakes, lard and pies. Trans fats are generated in many bakery products which use partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Consume foods that are sources of healthy fatty acids, MUFA: PUFAs like nuts, seeds, and fatty fish. For a healthier choice, cook your food in cooking oils that contain a good balance of MUFAs and PUFAs.


Switching to heart-healthy cooking oil is an excellent way to manage your saturated fat intake. To maintain normal cholesterol levels, you can try cooking with Saffola Gold, a blended edible oil containing  oryzanol. Its dual-seed technology provides a good balance of MUFA and PUFA. To know more about how to choose the right healthy oil for Indian cooking, click here.

4. Include more fish in your diet

Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and trout are rich sources of good healthy fats.  Oily fish contains Omega 3 fatty acids, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that aid various body functions.  


Aim to eat at least two portions (about 300g) of fish per week, including one piece of oily fish. 

5. Drink enough water

Drinking water before meals can offer several benefits for our health. Firstly, it promotes hydration, which is essential for maintaining good health. Moreover, drinking water before meals can help us feel fuller and reduce our calorie intake during the meal, promoting weight maintenance. It is recommended to consume 8 glasses of water a day.  

6. Include more whole grains and millets in your diet

Make your diet healthier by choosing whole grains such as whole wheat flour, oats, quinoa, buckwheat, and brown rice over refined starchy carbohydrates. They are a good source of fibre and help you feel full for longer. Studies show that whole grains are also associated with health benefits owing to their fibrous properties. Millets are other beneficial foods that can be included. Jowar, bajra, and ragi provide healthy nutrients that contribute to your overall health. 

7. Reduce your intake of salt 

According to NIN-ICMR, Dietary Guidelines for Indians, salt intake should not exceed more than 6 grams of salt per day. Sodium is an essential nutrient, however, the upper limit for consumption is 2000 mg/day. Consuming too much salt and sodium can put you at risk of developing high blood pressure which may lead to heart disease subsequently.  Be mindful of your processed foods consumption and the sodium in them on a per-serve basis. It is also important to be mindful of the salt you add while cooking food. 

8. Eating well also means eating right

Mindful eating is an important aspect of your healthy eating journey. The pace at which you eat can determine if you are likely to gain weight. Studies say hormones signal your brain when your stomach is full, but it takes 20 minutes for your brain to get that signal. 


That is why you should eat slowly and put your fork down a couple of times between meals. You should also resist the temptation to overeat. Chewing your food thoroughly is also linked to better digestion and improved weight management. 


9. Eat on smaller plates 

Studies  reveal that the size of dinnerware can affect how much we eat. Eating from small plates makes your portion look large, giving you a feeling of satiety. Eating from a smaller plate can trick your brain into thinking that you are eating more. This way, you will avoid over-eating or taking multiple helpings.  

Developing healthy eating habits takes time and consistent effort. That is why it is helpful to incorporate small changes each day to make healthy eating a lifestyle. While some of these tips talk about portioning your food correctly, some talk about adding essential nutrients to your heart-healthy diet plan. However, all these tips will significantly impact keeping your heart healthy and your overall diet healthier.


Listen To Your Heart: Making Women More Aware of their Heart Health This Women’s Day

It’s important for both men and women to be aware of their health. According to the World Health Organization, 2019, non-communicable diseases account for 66% of total adult deaths in India. and cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death due to NCDs (WHO, 2019).  The Global Burden of Disease study estimates age-standardised death from CVD as 272/lakh among Indians 

However, The British Heart Foundation (2022), estimates that globally more post-menopausal women (290 million) suffer from heart disease compared to men (260 million). Women often have different symptoms of heart disease than men and must look for the signs and symptoms carefully. They are exposed to more hormonal changes than men and they need to take care of their heart health more effectively and efficiently. 

As women, we don many hats – from being working professionals to being a mother, women are the centre of everyone’s world. While multitasking we often tend to neglect to look after our health. Be it physically or emotionally, we miss out on putting ourselves first. But with today’s fast-paced environment, we need to ensure we are doing our best, it is crucial that we look after ourselves in a much better way. 

If you are a working professional or a stay-at-home mother, you need to be aware of your heart health. Here are some tips for women to help improve and maintain their heart health. 


How do you know if your heart is healthy?

There are several ways to check if your heart is okay as a woman. Here are 5 key points to keep in mind:

  • Monitor your blood pressure: High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for heart disease. It’s important to have your blood pressure checked regularly and work with your healthcare provider to manage it if it is high.
  • Track your cholesterol levels: High levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. Have your cholesterol levels checked regularly and work with your healthcare provider to manage them if they are abnormal.
  • Manage stress: Chronic stress can increase your risk of heart disease. Practice stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.
  • Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes that occur during menopause can increase a woman’s risk of heart disease. Women should speak with their healthcare provider about managing their heart health during menopause.
  • Nutrient deficiencies: Women are sometimes at higher risk of certain nutrient deficiencies that can impact heart health. Due to menstruation, they lose out on iron stores. It’s hence, important to eat a balanced diet and speak with your healthcare provider about any necessary supplements.

In addition to the above factors, age also plays a role in heart health. As women age, their risk of heart disease increases. Regular check-ups with a healthcare provider and appropriate management of any risk factors can help maintain heart health as you age.

 Warning signs of a silent heart attack in women 

A silent heart attack, also known as a silent myocardial infarction (MI), is a heart attack that does not cause any noticeable symptoms. Silent MIs are more common in women and older adults, and they can be just as serious as heart attacks that cause symptoms.

Some warning signs of a silent heart attack in women may include

  • Unusual fatigue: A silent heart attack may cause a feeling of extreme fatigue or tiredness that is not relieved by rest.
  • Dizziness or light-headedness: Some women may feel dizzy or lightheaded during a silent heart attack.

How can you make your heart healthier?


  • Exercise Regularly: 

Regular physical activity can help improve heart health by lowering blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol and reducing stress. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises, such as brisk walking, most days of the week. You can check out some of the Yoga asanas that help improves your heart health.

  • Reduce smoking:

 Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease, so it’s important to quit if you currently smoke. There are many resources available to help you quit, including medications, support groups, and online resources.

  • Maintain a healthy diet:

 A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help lower the risk of heart disease. Avoid foods including oils that are high in saturated and trans fats, as well as added sugars and sodium. You can opt for Saffola Gold, a blended oil with antioxidants and a good balance of MUFA and PUFA which can help on your journey for a healthy heart. 

  Which foods are good for women’s heart health

  • Fresh Fruits and vegetables: These s are high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals and can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Whole grains: These include whole wheat flour, oats, quinoa, brown rice and millets like jowar, bajra etc. They are high in fibre and can help lower cholesterol.
  • Lean proteins: These include chicken, fish, tofu, and beans. They are low in saturated fat and can help lower cholesterol.
  • Healthy fats: These include avocados, nuts, and seeds. You can also consume MUFA- PUFA-rich oil like rice bran oil, sunflower oil, olive oil or a multisource edible oil like Saffola Gold. They can help improve heart health. 

These are some of the foods that help prevent heart attacks in women.

Quick Heart Health Home Remedies for Women

  • Garlic: Garlic contains allicin that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It may help lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation.
  • Ginger: Ginger contains gingerols that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and may help lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation.
  • Green tea: Green tea contains antioxidants called catechins that may help lower cholesterol and improve heart health. 

3 Ayurvedic Remedies for Women’s Heart Health

  • Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that can help reduce stress and anxiety. It has also been shown to improve heart function and reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Arjuna:: Arjuna is a herb commonly used in Ayurveda for heart health. It is believed to support healthy cholesterol levels, improve heart function, and promote healthy blood flow. (source)The bark of the arjuna tree is typically used to make supplements or teas. It can be taken regularly as a preventative measure or as directed by a healthcare provider.
  • Hawthorn: Hawthorn is a herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to support heart health. (source)It can help improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, and lower blood pressure. Hawthorn can be taken as a supplement or in tea form.  

These home remedies to manage heart disease along with a heart-healthy diet plan and exercise can help you look after your heart health efficiently. 

Note: It is important to note that these tips should be used in addition to, not as a replacement for, medical treatment for heart disease. 

If you have heart disease or are at a risk for heart disease, it is important to see a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and medical treatment. By following these tips and being proactive about your heart health, you can reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your overall health and well-being.

To know more tips about women’s heart health you can read on to – Heart Health Tips for Women.