Antioxidants are compounds produced in your body that you get from foods. They help you defend cells from damage caused by possibly harmful molecules known as free radicals. We present our top 12 Antioxidant Rich Foods.
Sadly, when free radicals accumulate, they cause oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is a state that can damage your DNA and other essential structures in your cells.
More than that, chronic oxidative stress may increase your risk of getting a chronic disease such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, or cancer.
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Thankfully, eating an antioxidant-rich diet can increase your blood antioxidant levels, so your body fights oxidative stress efficiently. And reduce the risk of the conditions mentioned above.
So you know, scientists use a couple of tests to measure the antioxidant content of foods.
One of these tests, the FRAP (ferric reducing ability of plasma) analysis, measures the antioxidant content of foods by how well they can neutralize a particular free radical.
So, the higher the FRAP value, the more antioxidants the food has.
Below I’ll show you the top 12 antioxidant-rich foods and the best antioxidant supplements.
If you’re a chocolate lover …
I’ve got good news for you. And that’s because dark chocolate is highly nutritious.
You see, dark chocolate has more cocoa than regular chocolate. And more minerals and antioxidants too.
In other words, based on the FRAP analysis, dark chocolate has up to 15 mmol of antioxidants pet 3.5 ounces (100 grams). It has more antioxidants than blueberries and raspberries, which have up to 9.2 and 2.3 mmol of antioxidants in the same serving size.
More than that, the antioxidants in cocoa and dark chocolate provide you health benefits such as less inflammation and decreased risk factors for heart disease.
Studies show that cocoa intake improves your blood pressure, even if you’re healthy, or you have high blood pressure.
Even more, eating cocoa-rich products like dark chocolate can reduce systolic blood pressure (the upper value) by an average of 4.5 mmHG and diastolic blood pressure (the lower value) by an average of 2.5 mmHG.
Dark chocolate can reduce the risk of you having a heart disease by raising blood antioxidant levels. It raises the levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and prevents “bad” LDL cholesterol from being oxidized.
You see, oxidized cholesterol can be harmful because it promotes inflammation in your blood vessels, leading to an increased risk of heart disease.
As a summary, dark chocolate is delicious, nutritious, and one of the best antioxidants-rich foods. The higher the cocoa content, the more antioxidants the chocolate has.
What are Pecans?
Well, pecans are a type of nut native to Mexico and South America.
Thankfully, they’re a very good source of healthy fats and minerals, having a high amount of antioxidants too.
Rechecking the FRAP analysis, pecans have up to 10.5 mmol of antioxidants per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
More than that, pecans may help raise antioxidants in your blood.
How do you know it?
Well, studies show that if you consume 20% of your daily calories from pecans, you may experience a significant increase in blood antioxidant levels.
Another study shows that if you consume pecans, you may experience a fall between 26-33% in oxidized blood LDL levels within the first two to eight hours.
So you know, high levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol in your blood is a significant risk for heart disease.
Even if pecans are a good source of healthy fats, they are high in calories too. So, more importantly, you should eat pecans in moderation to avoid consuming too many calories.
As a summary, pecans are popular nuts rich in minerals, healthy fats, and antioxidants. They can help you raise blood antioxidant levels and lower bad cholesterol.
Related: High-Fat Keto Diet: Is It The Best Weight-loss Diet?
Even if they’re low in calories, blueberries have lots of nutrients and antioxidants.
According to FRAP analysis, blueberries have up to 9.2 mmol of antioxidants per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
Thankfully, studies show that blueberries have the highest amount of antioxidants from all fruits and vegetables.
More than that, test-tube researches and animal studies state that antioxidants in blueberries can delay your brain function decline. This decline usually happens as your age increases, and you get older.
How do blueberries help you with that?
Well, blueberries neutralize harmful free radicals, reducing inflammation and making a change in the expression of specific genes.
But there’s more …
The antioxidants in blueberries called anthocyanins reduce the risk factors for heart disease. Besides this benefit, they lower your LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure too.
Chlorella is another great supplement that helps you improve cholesterol levels and blood pressure. (Read here our full article)
As a summary, blueberries are some of the best sources of antioxidants you can include in your diet. By being antioxidant-rich, especially in anthocyanins, blueberries reduce the risk of heart disease and delay your decline in brain function.
Who doesn’t like strawberries?
You see, strawberries are one of the most popular berries in the world. They’re sweet, have lots of vitamin C, and are very antioxidant-rich too.
Rechecking the FRAP analysis, strawberries provide you up to 5.4 mmol of antioxidants pet 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
Even more, like blueberries, strawberries also have the antioxidant called anthocyanins. This specific antioxidant gives them their red color. Usually, strawberries that have higher anthocyanin content use to be a brighter red.
Thankfully, studies show that these antioxidants reduce the risk of heart disease. And it does that by decreasing the levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol while raising “good” HDL cholesterol.
A great supplement that helps you regulate cholesterol levels is spirulina. (Read here our full article)
Studies show that if you take an anthocyanin supplement can significantly reduce LDL cholesterol, especially if you have heart disease or high LDL levels.
As a summary, strawberries are one of the best antioxidant-rich foods. They are rich in anthocyanins, antioxidants that can help you reduce the risk of heart disease.
If you live in North America, you may not be used to this delicious and nutritious vegetable.
You see, artichokes are a great source of dietary fiber, minerals, and antioxidants.
According to a FRAP analysis, artichokes have up to 4.7 mmol of antioxidants per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
These vegetables are rich in chlorogenic acid. Thankfully, this acid can reduce the risk of some cancer types, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
However, the antioxidant content of artichokes can differ, depending on how you prepare them.
So you know, boiling these vegetables may raise their antioxidant content by eight times. If you decide to steam them, the antioxidant levels may rise by 15 times. However, if you fry them, you can reduce the antioxidant content in artichokes.
Being the dried fruits of two related plants, Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense, goji berries are a part of traditional Chinese medicine for over 2.000 years.
You see, goji berries are superfoods because they’re very rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Let’s have a look at the FRAP analysis again …
Goji berries have 4.3 mmol of antioxidants per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
More than that, goji berries have unique antioxidants known as Lycium barbarum polysaccharides. These antioxidants reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer and can help fight skin aging.
Besides these benefits, goji berries are also effective at raising blood antioxidants levels, being one of the best antioxidant-rich foods.
But there’s a flip side …
Even if goji berries are nutritious and very good for your health, they can be costly to include them into your regular diet.
Who doesn’t love raspberry desserts?
Commonly used in desserts, raspberries are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, manganese, and antioxidants.
Rechecking the FRAP analysis, raspberries have up to 4 mmol of antioxidants per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
Studies show that antioxidants and other elements in raspberries lower the risks of cancer and heart conditions. More than that, one research shows that some components in raspberries killed 90% of the stomach, colon, and breast cancer cells in the sample.
Thankfully, like blueberries and strawberries, raspberries also have anthocyanins. And, as you know by now, anthocyanins reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, leading to a lowered risk of heart disease.
So, let’s summarize …
Raspberries are nutritious, delicious, and one of the best antioxidant-rich foods, having potential anti-inflammatory effects in the body.
Related: Turmeric: Is It The Best Anti-inflammatory Supplement?
Being a part of the cruciferous vegetable family, kale is one of the most nutritious greens in the world.
Well, kale is rich in vitamin A,K, and C. More than that, this green is antioxidant-rich, providing you with up to 2.7 mmol per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
However, red types of kale such as redbor and red Russian kale can have nearly twice as much. And that’s because red varieties of kale have more anthocyanin antioxidants.
More than that, kale also has calcium, an essential mineral that helps you maintain bone health and plays roles in other cellular functions too.
So you know, red cabbage has a lot of healthy nutrients. Also known as purple cabbage, red cabbage is rich in vitamins C, K, and A, being very antioxidant-rich too.
Rechecking the FRAP analysis, red cabbage has up to 2.2 mmol of antioxidants per 3.5 ounces (100 grams). Four times more the number of antioxidants compared to the regularly cooked cabbage.
And that’s because red cabbage also has anthocyanins, the antioxidants that make the cabbage red. As you read earlier, you can find a high amount of anthocyanins in strawberries and raspberries too.
Thankfully, anthocyanins have many potential health benefits. They can reduce inflammation in your body, protect you against heart disease and reduce the risk of some types of cancer.
Even more, red cabbage is rich in vitamin-C, acting as an antioxidant in your body. In other words, vitamin C strengthens your immune system and keeps your skin firm.
However, the way you prepare red cabbage can affect the antioxidant content.
So, boiling and stir-frying red cabbage can boost its antioxidant profile, while steaming it reduces its antioxidant content by 35%.
Related: Top 10 Antioxidant Supplements: Matcha Green Tea
Beans are the groups of legumes that provide you lots of fiber, helping you regulate your bowel movements.
More than that, beans are one of the best antioxidant-rich vegetables.
How do you know it?
Well, a FRAP analysis shows that broad green beans have up to 2 mmol of antioxidants per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
Even more, pinto beans have a specific antioxidant called kaempferol. Luckily, kaempferol has impressive health benefits, such as reducing chronic inflammation and suppressing cancer growth.
Animal studies show that kaempferol can suppress the growth of cancers in the breast, bladder, kidneys, and lungs. However, scientists need to do more research on humans so they can claim these supports.
Also known as beetroot, beets are the roots of Beta vulgaris.
What do beets provide you?
Thankfully, beets are very rich in fiber, potassium, iron, folate, and antioxidants.
Rechecking the FRAP analysis, beets have up to 1.7 mmol of antioxidants per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
You see, while blueberries and strawberries are rich in anthocyanins, beets have an antioxidant called betalains.
Betalains give the beetroot its reddish color and have numerous potential health benefits, such as lowering the risk of cancer in the colon and digestive tract.
More than that, beets have other elements that can help suppress inflammation. So you know, if you start taking betalain capsules, you can significantly relieve osteoarthritis pain and inflammation.
As a summary, beets offer you a good source of fiber, potassium, iron, and folate. In plus, they are one of the best antioxidant-rich foods and can help you improve your overall health.
Loaded with lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, spinach is one of the most nutritionally dense vegetables. And it’s very low in calories too.
But, let’s have a look again on the FRAP analysis …
You see, spinach has up to 0.9 mmol of antioxidants pet 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
More than that, spinach provides you lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that protect your eyes from harming UV light and other damaging light wavelengths.
Thankfully, lutein and zeaxanthin help you fight damage to the eyes that free radicals can cause over time.
So, let’s summarize …
Being rich in nutrients, high in antioxidants, and low in calories, spinach is one of the most healthy greens you can eat. More than that, spinach has lutein and zeaxanthin, defending your eyes from free radicals.
Antioxidant-Rich Foods: Which Is The Best Antioxidant Supplement?
Well, you probably convinced yourself until now why are antioxidants so essential and vital.
They reduce risks of heart disease, cancer, stomach conditions, and many other illnesses. More than that, antioxidants have anti-inflammatory effects in your body, can help skin aging, lower bad cholesterol, and can help your eyes too.
So, if you’re looking for the best antioxidant supplement, we recommend you Organifi Green Juice.
Thankfully, Organifi has 11 green superfoods in it that provide you with numerous essential and vital nutrients.
Sadly, you can’t always get your daily intake of antioxidants from the food you eat. You don’t always have blueberries, raspberries, or other antioxidant-rich foods to include in your meals.
But here’s where supplements kick in …
So, if you consider taking an antioxidant supplement, Organifi Green Juice should be your go-to option.
Read here our full review article of this product and decide whether it’s worth buying it or not.