10 Foods High In Antioxidants

By jolene
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Antioxidants is a term that refers to compounds that are able to inhibit oxidation. Oxidation is a process that produces free radicals which in turn can result in chain reactions that cause damage to the cells of organisms. Antioxidants such as the enzyme catalase or superoxide dismutase and glutathione are produced internally to help maintain the complex systems of the oxidative state.

Antioxidant supplements have not been proven to improve health or prevent disease in humans. Nutrients work best when they are obtained the natural way. One should remember that the benefits of antioxidants ultimately depend on how they are absorbed and utilized by the body.

High Antioxidant Food #1: Blueberries

Blueberries are a popular fruit that is widely consumed. They are sold fresh, in juices, frozen, in jellies, pies, or as an addition to cereals. A blueberry contains vitamin C, manganese, vitamin K, anthocyanins, and other polyphenols. 100 grams of blueberries can contain up to 9.2 mmol of antioxidants. There are also some studies that have suggested that blueberries have the highest levels of antioxidants among all vegetables and fruits.

Research has also shown that blueberries may help delay the decline in brain function associated with aging by neutralizing harmful free radicals, changing the expression of some genes, and reducing inflammation. Anthocyanins also reduce blood pressure, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and the risk of heart disease.


High Antioxidant Food #2: Red Cabbage

Red cabbage is also known as purple cabbage as its leaves are often a dark red or purple color. The color of the plant changes according to the pH value of the soil due to the presence of anthocyanins. Compared to its green counterpart, red cabbage has twice as much iron and ten times more vitamin A. It is also rich in vitamin K and vitamin C. 100 grams of red cabbage contains 2.2 mmol of antioxidants.

The presence of anthocyanins helps to reduce inflammation, decrease the risk of some cancers, and protect against heart disease. The best way to consume red cabbage is to boil or stir fry it as these methods boost its antioxidant profile.

High Antioxidant Food #3: Beans

Like rice, beans can be considered a staple for some individuals. It is a group of legumes that are healthy, high in fiber, a great protein source, and inexpensive. They also have one of the highest antioxidant levels among vegetable sources. For example, 100 grams of green broad beans may have up to 2 mmol of antioxidants. Even pinto beans, red beans, black beans, and kidney beans have high octane sources of antioxidants.

Not only do beans have high levels of antioxidants, they also have almost no cholesterol, have very little fat, are mostly complex carbohydrates, and also full of vitamin B. A great way to eat beans is to mix in vegetable salads or as a side with your main meal.


High Antioxidant Food #4: Raspberries

Raspberries are fruits of a plant of the rose family. It is an important commercial fruit crop and is widely cultivated in regions of the world with temperate climates. Raspberries are rich in vitamin C, manganese, and fiber.

They also contain phytochemicals such as ellagic acid, anthocyanin pigments, ellagitannins, gallic acid, quercetin, cyanidins, catechins, pelargonidin, salicylic acid, kaempferol, and more. 100 grams of raspberries contain 4 mmol of antioxidants. They have also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and slow or suppress the effects of some cancers.

High Antioxidant Food #5: Strawberries

Strawberries are well known for their texture and sweetness. Widely consumed in large quantities, they are an excellent source for vitamin C, manganese, and other minerals and vitamins. 100 grams of strawberries provide 5.4 mmol of antioxidants.

They contain anthocyanins which is the source of their red color. Anthocyanins have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by increasing high density lipoprotein (HDL) and decreasing LDL levels. They have also been associated with lower rates of inflammation, hypertension, and cancer.


High Antioxidant Food #6: Kale

Kale is a type of plant with purple or green leaves. It originated in Asia minor and eastern Mediterranean. Besides being cultivated as food, it has also been used for medicinal purposes for the treatment of bowel ailments.

It contains carbohydrates, protein, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, manganese, riboflavin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin E, iron, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. 100 grams of kale provides up to 2.7 mmol of antioxidants. Different variants such as red Russian kale or redbor have higher levels of antioxidants.

High Antioxidant Food #7: Artichokes

The artichoke is a type of edible plant which contains the bioactive agents luteolin and apigenin. The antioxidant capacity of artichoke flower heads has been reported to be one of the highest among vegetables. It contains the antioxidant known as chlorogenic acid which may have the potential to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and heart disease.

Although not very commonly found in the North American diet, the artichoke is a nutritious and delicious vegetable with a long history. Besides antioxidants, it is rich with minerals and dietary fiber. For comparison purposes, 100 grams of artichoke contains about 4.7 mmol of antioxidants.


High Antioxidant Food #8: Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is a type of chocolate that has a higher percentage of cocoa butter and solids and very little dairy product when compared to other types of chocolate. Dark chocolate is relatively low in sugar and contains antioxidants such as polyphenols.

The identification of dark chocolate as a superfood has greatly increased the global demand for dark chocolate. 100 grams of dark chocolate contains 15 mmol of antioxidants. The antioxidants in dark chocolate has also been associated with health benefits such as reducing the risk for heart disease and decreasing inflammation.

High Antioxidant Food #9: Pecans

The pecan tree is a species native to the southern United States and Mexico. The seeds have a rich and buttery flavor and can be used in cooking or sweet desserts. 100 grams of pecans provide manganese, dietary fiber, magnesium, thiamin, zinc, phosphorus, iron, protein, and B vitamins.

They also contain a high amount of antioxidants where there is 10.6 mmol per 100 grams. Studies have also found that individuals who consume 20 percent of their daily calories from pecans have increased levels of antioxidants in their blood and a decrease in oxidized blood LDL levels.

High Antioxidant Food #10: Goji Berries

Goji berries or wolfberries are native to Asia and have been used in traditional Asian cuisine and traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese medicine.

They have also been marketed in western countries as a health food since they are rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. 100 grams of wolfberries contain 4.3 mmol of antioxidants. Some experts also believe that they can help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and combat skin aging.


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