Chris is a professional writer who currently travels around the world sharing his knowledge with his readers.
Antioxidants are important compounds produced in your body that you can also absorb by consuming specific types of foods. They are very important for our overall health because they help us defend our cells from damage caused by free radicals.
More specifically, when these free radicals accumulate they cause oxidative stress which in the long run can damage our DNA and the structures of our cells.
Here is where antioxidants step in. They help us protect our cells and delay our aging process.
However, oxidative stress is not only about our cells getting older because chronic oxidative stress can do much more. Sadly, it can also cause chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Luckily, including foods that are rich in antioxidants can help us increase our blood antioxidant levels in order to fight oxidative stress and therefore reduce the risk of these chronic diseases.
In order to measure the level of antioxidants, scientists use several tests. One of the most popular ones is the FRAP (ferric reducing ability of plasma) analysis.
Shortly put, the higher the FRAP value, the more antioxidants those foods contain.
If you are looking to improve your diet, here are 12 healthy foods that are high in antioxidants.
For those who don’t like sweet fruits, blueberries are a perfect choice. They are great as a snack, but are also absolutely delicious in smoothies, desserts, or paired with greek yogurt, for example.
The antioxidants that are found in blueberries have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, improve cognitive performance, and lower cholesterol.
All seeds and nuts are very healthy and necessary especially if you eat mostly plant-based, but out of them all, pecans might be one of the best choices. That’s because they are a very good source of healthy fats and minerals, and are high in antioxidants.
However, keep in mind that even though they are very healthy, pecans are also high in calories, so make sure you consume them in moderation.
Besides fresh vegetables and fruits, it’s important to have loads of legumes in your diet because these foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates. On top of this, beans, lentils, and peas are also high in antioxidants.
They might not be everyone’s favorite vegetable but artichokes are incredibly healthy because they are a great source of fiber, antioxidants, and minerals.
One thing to keep in mind is that the antioxidant content of artichokes depends on how you prepare them. For example, if you boil them, their antioxidant content may raise by eight times. On the other hand, if you steam them, the antioxidant content may raise by 15 times. Naturally, frying them can reduce their antioxidant content so it’s best to avoid this.
5. Gogi Berries
Known as being one of the superfoods, goji berries are rich in vitamins, antioxidants and minerals so make sure to include them in your diet.
If you prefer fresh fruits instead, raspberries are one of the best choices because they are an amazing source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C.
They are great as a snack on their own but work just as well in desserts.
While not everybody loves kale, this cruciferous vegetable has become more famous in the past couple of years. However, not many people know that it is one of the most nutritious greens out there, and it’s rich in vitamins A, C, and K. Lastly, kale is a great source of antioxidants so don’t shy away from adding it to your morning smoothie.
8. Dark chocolate
If you have a sweet tooth then you’ll love to hear that dark chocolate is full of powerful nutrients. Not only is it high in antioxidants but it also contains zinc and iron.
So next time you feel like indulging in something sweet, choose dark chocolate instead of a regular one.
Better known as beetroot, these vegetable roots are a great source of potassium, iron, fiber, and antioxidants.
By far one of the most nutritionally dense vegetables, spinach is high in minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins. On top of this, it’s very low in calories so if you are trying to lose some extra pounds, make sure to include spinach in your diet.
11. Red cabbage
Versatile and easy to prepare, red cabbage is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, and is high in antioxidants.
Last but not least, both red and purple grapes are high in selenium, vitamin C, and antioxidants. It’s important to mention that red wine is also rich in these compounds, so if you were looking for an excuse to enjoy a glass of wine, this is it.
Do you eat foods that are high in antioxidants? If so, which ones do you prefer?