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Foods Rich In Antioxidants

Antioxidants are chemical compounds that the body produces and are contained in many foods. They are quite beneficial to your body as they help in the protection of cells from harm or damage, which is caused by toxins and free radicals.

When free radicals pile up in your body, they may bring it to a condition or state known as oxidative stress. This condition has the potential to damage your DNA and other essential cell structures. Unfortunately, oxidative stress poses several health risks as it leaves the body vulnerable to many diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, and the likes. 

However, including richly-contained antioxidant foods in your diet can be quite beneficial or effective in fighting off oxidative stress, and also lessening the risk of such diseases mentioned above. 

Antioxidants contain a plethora of health benefits, and in this article, we shall be looking at healthy foods rich in antioxidants.

KALE

This is a type of cruciferous vegetable which belongs to the Brassica oleracea species. Other vegetables that are part of this specie include cauliflower and broccoli. Among the veggies, kale is one of the most nutritious and power-packed green. It contains high levels of vitamins A, C, and K. 

More importantly, it is rich in antioxidants, containing about 2.7 mmol in every 100 grams. Moreover, other kale varieties such as red Russian and redbor contain almost as twice as the common type. These varieties contain about 4.1 mmol of antioxidants per 3.5 ounces. 

It is also a rich source of calcium, and it also plays a role in the maintenance of cellular functions.               

PECANS

Pecans are a type of nut native to South America and Mexico. They are good sources of minerals and healthy fats, and they also contain a very high amount of antioxidants.

Based on research, pecans contain up to 10.6mmol of antioxidants per 3.5 ounces. Moreover, they can help to raise levels of antioxidants in the blood and also lower bad cholesterol. 

STRAWBERRIES

If you are looking to increase your antioxidant levels, strawberries could make an excellent choice. These berries are one of the most highly concentrated antioxidant fruits. 

Strawberries are rich in anthocyanins, the antioxidant that protects one from developing cardiovascular diseases. They have also been shown to fight carcinogens and LDL, cholesterol that is known to cause heart disease.

 However, strawberries are also a great source of vitamin c, which could protect your body's cells from free radical damage.

COFFEE

Studies have shown that coffee is one of the largest sources of antioxidants in the human diet. It is particularly rich in several powerful antioxidants, including polyphenols and hydrocinnamic acids.

The polyphenols in coffee may prevent a wide variety of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases. Besides, hydro cinnamic acids are very effective at neutralizing free radicals and preventing oxidative stress.

ARTICHOKES

Artichokes are nutritious and delicious vegetables that are not very common in the North American diet. Over the years, many people have used its leaves as a remedy to cure liver conditions like jaundice.

These healthy vegetables are rich in antioxidants known as chlorogenic acid, which could prove beneficial to reducing the risk of certain cancers. 

Moreover, the antioxidant content of artichokes may vary based on how they are prepared.

WILD BLUEBERRIES

These berries are very high in antioxidants. A cup of wild blueberries contains up to 13,427 antioxidants. 

These berries are rich in antioxidants known as flavonoids, which play a significant role in protecting the brain as well as reducing the risk of heart diseases, stroke, and cancer.

RED CABBAGE

This cabbage is also known as the purple cabbage. It contains anthocyanins, a group of antioxidants that give it its red color. These antioxidants can also be found in raspberries and strawberries.

These anthocyanins have been shown to reduce inflammation, protect the heart against diseases, and reduce the risk of certain cancers.

Red cabbage is also rich in vitamin c, which acts as an antioxidant in the body.

CHERRIES

Cherries are very healthy wonder fruits. They contain queritrin, flavonoids, and isoqueritin, which act as antioxidants and work to eliminate byproducts of oxidative stress, therefore slowing down the aging process. So, if you are looking to reduce oxidative stress, cherries could make an excellent choice.

However, the queritrin contained in cherries is the most potent anti-cancer agent.

ALFALFA SPROUTS

Alfalfa sprouts are very rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that protects the body against lung cancer. It also helps to maintain healthy skin, gums, glands, hair, nail, and teeth.

These sprouts are rich in vitamin E, which may lower the risk of death from bladder cancer and help prevent strokes and heart attacks.

PLUMS

Plums come in a variety of colors. Thus, if you are looking to get the ones with a higher level of antioxidants, you should go for the black ones.

Black plums are very rich in vitamin C and phenols, an antioxidant known to prevent tissue inflammation and swelling. It also can guard against cell deterioration and DNA damage.

GRAPES

If you are seeking optimum antioxidant benefits, you should go for red grapes.

The skin of red grapes is a very rich source of an antioxidant called resveratrol. This antioxidant is known to fight cancer. It has also been known to keep cancer from spreading or happening.

BROCCOLI

Broccoli contains an antioxidant known as indole-3-carbinol. This antioxidant has been found to hinder the growth of cervical, prostate and breast cancer and boost the liver's function.

This cruciferous vegetable also stands out as the most concentrated source of vitamin C. it also possesses the flavonoids necessary for vitamin C to recycle effectively.

ONIONS

Onion is a very rich vegetable. It contains a high level of antioxidants that can help to fight cancer and even reduce the risk of developing it.

However, cooking onions at a high heat could reduce the benefits of phytochemicals that protect against prostate and lung cancer.

CARROTS

Carrots are highly nutritious vegetables. They contain beta-carotene, which helps your body produce vitamin A and fight cancer.

They are also weight-loss friendly and have been linked to improved eye health and lower cholesterol levels.

DARK CHOCOLATE

Dark chocolate is loaded with active organic compounds and function as antioxidants. It includes flavanols, polyphenols, catechins, and so many others.

Research has shown that dark chocolates may help prevent heart disease and also lower the risk of stroke.

However, it is essential to note that you should consume it in moderation and only go for the dark varieties. Also, you should know that milk and white chocolates do not deliver the same benefits.

BEANS

Beans comprise varieties of legumes that are natural and healthy. They are rich sources of fiber, and this helps in the free flow of regular bowel movement. 

Beans also contain a high level of antioxidants, and a study discovered that a variety of beans known as green broad beans contain over two mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams. You could try notching up your diet with legumes! They provide a lot of fantastic health benefits.

Moreover, some types of beans, such as pinto beans, are rich in a specific antioxidant referred to as kaempferol. This antioxidant has been known to lessen the risk of many diseases such as cancer growth, chronic inflammation, and the likes. 

However, beans are foods you can include in your diet. It is a rich source of protein, minerals, and some vitamins.

BEETS

Beets are veggies that are rich in antioxidants. The antioxidants belong to a group or class of pigments referred to as Belatin. They are highly effective in the prevention of digestive problems and colon cancer.

Beets also contain folate, dietary fiber, iron, and potassium. These are healthy materials that help in curbing inflammation. It is also an effective agent in the reduction of free radicals and the prevention of cancer. 

ORANGES

Oranges are rich sources of beta-cryptoxanthin (a type of antioxidant), which helps suppress the risk of arthritis by 20-40 percent when a study on 25,000 people was done in the United Kingdom.

SPINACH

Spinach is another power-packed veggie that contains carotenoids- an antioxidant that helps in enhancing sight and protecting the eye from macular degeneration, which is one of the prominent leading causes of blindness in aged people.

It also contains several nutrients that your body needs.

CORN

A recent study revealed that the longer maize was boiled, the higher its antioxidant levels. It contains a considerable amount of an antioxidant called lutein, which protects aged people from blindness. It is also a rich source of carbohydrate, iron, folic acid, vitamin B12, and some other nutrients. 

You can also add this nutritious grain to your diet!

 GREEN TEA

Yes! A sip of green tea gives you two potent phytochemicals- pro-anthocyanin and anthocyanin. They are both antioxidants, and they aid in combating inflammation. It also contains a high amount of catechins, which prevents cell damage that could eventually result in cancer. 

A cup of green tea every morning could work a whole lot of wonders!

BARLEY

Barley is also a rich source of antioxidant properties. This ancient grain has a higher antioxidant level when it is soaked and sprouted. It aids in lowering cholesterol levels, improving digestion, and enhancing the function of the cardiac system. 

Moreover, it is rich in fiber, and it is an excellent alternative for other refined grains. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

In summary, antioxidants are quite essential to the body. It serves a myriad of functions, and you can increase antioxidants in your body by making most of your meals to comprise of rich sources of it! 

Yes! Eating well is one of the keys to living healthily.

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5745491/

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/antioxidants/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/multimedia/antioxidants/sls-20076428

https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/antioxidants-your-immune-system-super-foods-optimal-health

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