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14 Healthy Foods High in Antioxidants

Many nutrient-dense foods are high in antioxidants, including certain types of berries, nuts, and vegetables. These foods have also been linked to other health benefits and may protect against chronic disease.

14 Healthy Foods High in Antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds made in the body and found in food that help defend cells from free radicals, which can cause oxidative stress and increase the chance of developing various chronic diseases.

Eating a diet rich in antioxidants increases blood antioxidant levels to reduce oxidative stress and disease risk.

Here are the top 14 healthy foods that are high in antioxidants

1. Dark chocolate

Lucky for chocolate lovers, dark chocolate is nutritious. It has more cocoa than regular chocolate, as well as more minerals and antioxidants.

Also, the antioxidants in cocoa and dark chocolate have been linked to impressive health benefits such as decreased inflammation and reduced risk factors for heart disease.

2. Pecans

Pecans are a type of nut native to North America. They are a good source of healthy fats and minerals, plus contain a high amount of antioxidants.

In addition, pecans can help raise antioxidant levels in the blood and may help reduce cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease.

That said, although pecans are a great source of healthy fats, they are also high in calories, so it’s important to moderate your portion sizes, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.

3. Blueberries

Although they are low in calories, blueberries are packed with nutrients and antioxidants.

Research from test-tube and animal studies has shown that the antioxidants in blueberries may delay aging-related decline in brain function by neutralizing harmful free radicals, reducing inflammation, and altering the expression of certain genes.

Additionally, the antioxidants in blueberries, especially anthocyanins, have been shown to reduce risk factors for heart disease, and lower both LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

4. Strawberries

Strawberries are sweet, versatile, and rich in vitamin C. They also contain a lot of the antioxidant anthocyanin, which gives them their red color.

Research has shown that anthocyanins may help reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and raising HDL (good) cholesterol as mentioned above.

5. Artichokes

Artichokes are a great source of dietary fiber, minerals, and antioxidants.

They are especially rich in an antioxidant known as chlorogenic acid, which may help reduce the risk of certain cancers, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

That said, the antioxidant content of artichokes can vary depending on how they are prepared.

6. Goji berries

Goji berries are often marketed as a superfood because they are rich in vitamins and minerals.

Goji berries also contain unique antioxidants known as Lycium barbarum polysaccharides, which have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.

However, while goji berries are nutritious, they can be expensive to eat on a regular basis.

7. Raspberries

Raspberries are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and manganese.

A review of five studies also concluded that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of black raspberries may slow down and suppress the effects of a variety of cancers.

Plus, the antioxidants in raspberries, especially anthocyanins, may reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. This may reduce the chance of developing heart disease.

8. Kale

Kale is one of the most nutritious greens on the planet and is rich in calcium, and vitamins A, K, and C. It’s also rich in antioxidants.

This is because red varieties of kale contain more anthocyanin antioxidants as well as several other antioxidants that give them their vibrant colour.

9. Red cabbage

Also known as purple cabbage, red cabbage is rich in vitamins C, K, and A, and has a high antioxidant content.

It, too, contains anthocyanins, which give it its color and may help reduce inflammation, protect against heart disease, and reduce the risk of certain cancers.

What’s more, the vitamin C in red cabbage also acts as an antioxidant in the body and may help strengthen the immune system and keep the skin firm.

However, the volume of antioxidants in red cabbage varies depending on how you cook it.

10. Beans

Beans are a diverse group of legumes that are inexpensive and healthy. They are also incredibly high in fiber, which can help keep your bowel movements regular.

Beans are also one of the best vegetable sources of antioxidants, containing a particular antioxidant called kaempferol, which may help with things like reducing chronic inflammation and suppressing cancer growth.

11. Beets

Beets, also known as beetroot, are a great source of fiber, potassium, iron, folate, and antioxidants.

They’re particularly rich in a group of antioxidants called betalains. These give beets their reddish color and have been linked to health benefits. For example, several test-tube studies have linked betalains to a lower risk of cancers in the colon and digestive tract.

12. Spinach

Spinach is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and is incredibly low in calories.

It’s also a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that may help protect your eyes from damaging ultraviolet light and other harmful light wavelengths.

13. Spices and herbs

Spices such as ginger, turmeric, and garlic, as well as herbs such as rosemary, parsley, and sage, all contain a variety of minerals, vitamins, and important antioxidants.

Putting them on your food or in your cooking can help reduce oxidative stress, which can help reduce the chance of developing various health conditions. Depending on the specific herb or spice, these diseases include high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes.

14. Okra

Okra is a flowering plant with edible seed pods that grows best in warm and tropical climates. It’s full of nutrients such as magnesium, folate, and fiber, as well as vitamins C, K1, and A.

It also contains antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory and may help reduce high cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as protect heart and brain health.

The bottom line

Antioxidants are compounds that your body makes naturally. You can also get them from food. They protect your body from potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals, which can accumulate and promote oxidative stress. Oxidative stress raises the risk of heart disease, cancers, type 2 diabetes, and many other chronic conditions.

Eating a diet with foods high in antioxidants can help neutralize free radicals and reduce the risk of these chronic diseases. By eating a wide variety of the foods in this blog, you can boost your blood levels of antioxidants and reap their many health benefits.

Struggling with nutrition and how to eat for your unique body? Schedule a free health strategy session with me today.

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