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Which Foods Contain Antioxidants?

Chard is a good antioxidant source--and also colorful.
Plums are on the list of top 20 antioxidant sources.
Kale.
Nectarines are a good source of antioxidants.
Berries are a good source of antioxidants.
Garlic is an antioxidant.
Dark purple berries, as well as blue and red berries, are high in antioxidants.
Cranberries are rich in antioxidants.
Broccoli contains antioxidants.
Green tea typically has up to 10 times more antioxidant polyphenols than fruits and vegetables.
Beans are a good source of antioxidants.
Adzuki beans.
Oranges and other citrus fruits are brimming with antioxidants and nutrients.
Pecans are high in antioxidants.
Spinach is high in antioxidants.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants.
Walnuts contain antioxidants.
Grapes are high in antioxidants.
The herb oregano is a good source of antioxidants.
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Antioxidants are compounds such as vitamins A, C, and E, as well as beta carotene. They inhibit oxidation in the body, and may help to prevent damage to healthy cells. As a result, they have been touted as cancer fighters and heart disease prevention tools. The exact mechanism through which antioxidants work is not entirely understood, but most of the medical community agrees that consuming them is generally beneficial to human health.

One of the important things to understand about antioxidants is that they are most beneficial in food form. Nutritional supplements that include them do not appear to be as effective as standalone foods. This is probably due to a complex interaction of vitamins and minerals in foods, which cannot be replicated with pills. Therefore, it is important to eat lots of fresh foods and vegetables to get the benefit of these vitamins. This is also good dietary practice, since produce is a vital part of a healthy diet.

Fortunately, many foods are rich in antioxidants. In the fruit and vegetable department, berries such as blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries are a great place to start. Grapes, plums, nectarines, lemons, pomegranates, and pineapples are also great sources. Dark leafy greens like kale, chard, spinach, and broccoli can be consumed for their vitamins, as can carrots, tomatoes, garlic, potatoes, and artichokes. As can be seen from this list, many foods rich in these compounds also have bold, appealing colors.

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Whole grains, beans, and legumes are also good food sources. Beans appear to the best source, with red beans outstripping all other foods in antioxidant value. Spices such as cloves, cinnamon, oregano, and ginger also have them, as do tea and coffee. Nuts like hazelnuts, pecans, and walnuts have a high antioxidant content in addition to their other nutritional benefits.

Integrating foods with antioxidants into the diet should be relatively easy, since there are so many options. Many of these foods are available year round, and can be rotated so that they do not get boring. According to the World Health Organization, people should try to consume around 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fresh produce daily, since produce is packed with many vitamins and minerals that support human well being. Enriching the diet with whole grains and beans is also beneficial, and people can use nuts and fruits as quick snacks to get you through the day.

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Discuss this Article

sunshined
Post 15

I am so glad to have more organic choices in the grocery store than there ever used to be. I used to have to make a special trip to a health food store, but now my local market carries a good selection.

When it comes to the fresh fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants, it really is best if you can buy the organic ones. I know they cost more, but I think the extra money is worth it. If people support the organic products that are sold, there will be more of them and they will keep getting cheaper.

andee
Post 14

One of the best things I did was substitute potato chips with a handful of nuts. These are much healthier for me and it only takes a few of them to help with the hunger. Before this I would eat a whole bag of potato chips and still feel hungry.

I also make sure I have plenty of good choices around so I am not so tempted to eat the junk food. I keep a variety of nuts in the cupboard and will grab a banana or apple on the go instead of reaching for the cookies.

There is such a connection between antioxidants and good health, and I figure several little changes like this can make a big overall difference.

SarahSon
Post 13

If someone is on a tight food budget it can be expensive to buy a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. I enjoy these foods, but many times it is too expensive for me to get all the antioxidants I need from the food I eat.

I was glad to read that beans are a good source of antioxidants. That is something I can afford, and they leave me feeling full and satisfied too.

John57
Post 12

I agree that the best way to get your antioxidants is with your food. I think many people skimp on fresh fruits and vegetables and think they can get the nutrition they need from a supplement.

While this would be better than nothing at all, you still get the most antioxidant benefits from a wide variety of foods. Even is someone doesn't like a particular food, there are so many other good choices that it would be hard not to find foods you enjoy that have a high antioxidant level.

JessicaLynn
Post 11

@Azuza - It is nice that most antioxidants sources are pretty tasty, and easily accesible at the grocery store. I hate when I hear about some magical food that's supposed to be great for you, but you have to go to a specialty store to get it!

Anyway, my favorite way to get my antioxidants is to make a salad with spinach, blueberries and walnuts, which are all antioxidants. Usually I also add chicken and some kind of crumbly cheese and top it with a vinaigrette. Delicious and good for you!

Azuza
Post 10

I'm relieved to hear that a lot of these antioxidants foods are actually tasty. Too often, stuff that's good for you tastes horrible. But I enjoy eating most fruits, and I eat potatoes all the time. It's great to hear that this staple of the American diet actually contains antioxidants.

sunnySkys
Post 9

@kylee07drg - Smoothies are a great way to incorporate healthy foods in your diet. And it can help hide a lot of the less tasty but good for you foods too! You could easily add some kale or spinach to your raspberry smoothie, and you would probably never know the difference.

I also like to "sneak" spinach into pasta sauce. I don't like the taste of spinach much, but I know it contains powerful antioxidants, so I try to eat it as much as I can!

strawCake
Post 8

@Kristee - I already eat a lot of these foods too! It is good to find out that stuff I'm already doing it actually good for me. Too often, it's the opposite. I find out something that I enjoy and/or do a lot is bad for me!

I'm way happier to learn of all the antioxidant benefits that I'm getting from my food than I was when I learned that it's a bad idea to drink water from plastic water bottles.

kylee07drg
Post 7

I've heard that red raspberries are super antioxidants. They contain some compound that's supposedly awesome at fighting cancer and heart disease.

Blueberries also contain this compound, but I don't know if they are as full of it as raspberries. I have been making a raspberry smoothie for breakfast every morning since I learned this.

Sometimes, it's just hard to find good raspberries in the store, but I buy them frozen if I can't find the fresh ones. The frozen ones make nice cold smoothies, anyway.

Kristee
Post 6

@feasting – It's great to learn that something you already enjoy is a great antioxidant source. I was ecstatic to read that coffee contains antioxidants!

I always assumed it wasn't good for me because of all the caffeine, but I drank it anyway to stay alert. Now I can feel better about having two or three cups a day.

cloudel
Post 5

If you are using antioxidants to prevent cancer, it's definitely better to get them from natural sources than from supplements. Humans haven't even unearthed all the ways that certain foods are good for them, so they can't possibly capture all the benefits in a pill.

Plus, it is much more enjoyable to eat than to swallow a pill. I enjoy berries and greens very much, so I'm sure I get plenty of antioxidants without any help from artificial sources.

feasting
Post 4

I'm glad that tea is a powerful antioxidant. I drink a cup of it every night before bedtime, because it helps me relax.

I love chai spice tea. It contains cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves, so it has extra antioxidant power. It's made with black tea, so it is nice and strong.

I have heard that cinnamon can also stimulate your metabolism, so I am getting all kinds of benefits from this tea!

anon142191
Post 3

black seeds and green tea are also antioxidants.

anon62670
Post 2

Acai Berry helps replenish energy with great contain of antioxidants, improves sexual performance. And the product transfer factor Riovida is the one made with high percentage of Acai Berry. Check it out, and you will love it.

elfi64
Post 1

Some tropical fruits are loaded with antioxidants. Guava tops the list of tropical fruits rich in lycopene and antioxidants, but others like papaya, lychee, kiwi, and pineapple are not far behind.

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