We’ve all been told to consume more foods that are high in antioxidants to achieve optimal health, but do you know which food is rich in powerful antioxidants? In fact, there are many antioxidant-rich foods that you can add to your diet, and below is the list of the best ones that can really benefit your health. Antioxidants are essential for us because they protect us from disease, combat the free radicals in the body and slow the aging process. When you have low antioxidant levels, oxidative stress can happen, making you more susceptible to a great number of diseases including cancer and heart disease. To keep your immune system strong and your body healthy, you should eat an abundance of foods that are high in antioxidants every day. The common antioxidants include beta-carotene, vitamin A, selenium, vitamin E, vitamin C, polyphenols and flavonoids. Read on to discover some of the best antioxidant-rich foods.
One of the best antioxidant-rich foods to add to your eating plan is beans. Beans are an excellent source of fiber and powerful antioxidants your body needs to stay healthy. I suggest you to consume red beans, which contain the highest levels of antioxidants. You can add them to your salads, soups, stews and pasta dishes.
Not only do berries taste great, but they also help prevent a number of diseases. While blueberries are small in size, they boast plenty of health benefits. They can improve your cognitive abilities and boost your immune system. Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and cranberries are great sources of antioxidants as well. Try adding them to your yogurt or oatmeal for a huge health boost.
3. Dark chocolate
I’m sure many of you are happy to see your favorite dark chocolate on this list. Yes, dark chocolate is high in potent antioxidants and it can reduce your blood pressure. When it comes to chocolate, even the dark one, you should eat it in moderation. It’s not recommended to consume white and milk chocolate since they don’t have the same health benefits.
Everyone knows the saying, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away,’ but many people often forget about this amazing fruit. Apples are loaded with essential vitamins and powerful antioxidants and they make a great portable snack that will satisfy your sweet tooth in no time. You can also add apples to your fruit salad, smoothies, or even make an apple pie. Opt for red apples, which have the highest levels of antioxidants.
Perhaps you are surprised to see artichokes on the list of the best antioxidant-rich foods, but it’s actually no wonder. Artichokes are packed with powerful antioxidants and they deliver a great amount of essential vitamins to the body. You can use artichoke hearts in your salad or as a healthy topping on your vegetable pizza.
Although it’s always said to avoid consuming potatoes, especially if you are trying to lose weight, it’s good to incorporate some potatoes into your diet. You can bake up some potatoes and add them to your dinner or you can add some color to your plate with antioxidant-rich mashed sweet potatoes. Just don’t load your meal up with sour cream and butter.
There are many reasons to eat carrots daily and one of them is because they are rich in beta-carotene that helps the body produce essential vitamin A and combat cancer. Carrots are also great for your eyes and they can even improve your sight. Add them to your vegetable salads, soups, stews, stir-fry, or eat them raw.
8. Red wine and red grapes
Grapes, especially red grapes, are also packed with powerful antioxidants. Red wine (when consumed in moderation!) and red grapes are high in heart healthy polyphenols and flavonoids. But it doesn’t mean you can drink the whole bottle of red wine daily in order to fill your body with more antioxidants. Drink it in moderation, or better, eat some red grapes.
Pecans are high in a powerful antioxidant that can help to prevent inflammation in the arteries. The thing is, consuming pecans raises the amount of healthy antioxidants in the body, which is essential in helping to prevent development of numerous diseases including heart disease and cancer. Add some chopped pecans to your oatmeal, snack on roasted pecans or eat them raw.
10. Black plums
While red plums are delicious, black plums are higher in powerful antioxidants than red ones. These antioxidants help the body fight a great number of diseases. Black plums are also low in calories and fat free. Add black plums to your smoothies, juices, fruit salads, puree them for quick and tasty fruit sorbet, or make an old-fashioned plum cake. Black plums make a perfect lunch box treat as well. Just make sure you don’t peel your plums since most of the antioxidants contained in plums are found within the skin.
Sure, there are no definite guarantees that you can prevent cancer or other diseases by simply consuming antioxidant-rich foods, but you can significantly lower the risk of developing these diseases. What’s your favorite antioxidant-rich food?