Antioxidants promote a healthier body by eradicating free radicals, which can weaken the immune system and lead to a variety of diseases. An article in Medium.com states that food is the primary source of essential antioxidants. Certain food groups such as berries, nuts, and leafy greens are touted for their high antioxidant content.
Below is a list of the top 10 foods with the highest antioxidant content.
- Berries – Berries are excellent sources of polyphenols, micronutrients, and fiber. Various studies have already established that consuming berries, whether fresh, freeze-dried, or juiced, provide superior protection against heart diseases and certain types of cancers. Blueberries are especially recognized for having the highest antioxidant levels among berries. Other sources of antioxidants include strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, and goji berries.
- Green tea – Green tea has been cultivated for centuries because of their high antioxidant properties that help prevent the onset of certain cancers including breast, pancreatic, colorectal, and lung cancer. Green tea is also known to reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, liver disease, and inflammatory bowel disease.
- Leafy greens – Leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale contain essential phytochemicals that counter the effects of inflammation and carcinogens.
- Pomegranates, cherries, grapes, and raisins – Grapes are best known for their high polyphenol content, which is essential in keeping certain types of cancers in check. The high antioxidant levels in grapes and raisins were also tied to lower risk of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and diabetes-related complications. Pomegranates and cherries are also known to contain high antioxidant levels.
- Dark chocolate – Dark chocolate is rich in the antioxidant flavonoids. In fact, just one oz. of dark chocolate contains twice as much antioxidants as red wine.
- Plums and prunes – Both plums and prunes are regarded as superfoods for their high antioxidant content. According to recent studies, one plum contains as much antioxidants as a handful of blueberries.
- Nuts – Nuts are an excellent source of antioxidants called polyphenols. A recent study presented at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society revealed that walnuts contain twice as much antioxidants as those found in other nuts such as pecans, macadamias, cashews, and pistachios.
- Ground cloves – Spices such as ground cloves are not only packed with flavor, they are found to have very high antioxidant content. Other antioxidant-rich spices include turmeric, garlic, ginger as well as cinnamon and oregano.
- Kidney beans – Kidney beans have been a kitchen staple for years. These humble legumes contain high amounts of antioxidants.
- Artichoke hearts – Artichoke hearts are also found to contain high levels of essential antioxidants.
The research community has long established that antioxidants are essential in maintaining a healthy body. These compounds help protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals. Free radicals are unstable body molecules that lack electrons. These molecules steal electrons from the nearest healthy cell, which in turn makes the cell sick and prompts a chain reaction within the body. Free radical formation can be caused by exposure to toxins and pollution, smoking, and other environmental factors.
An article likens this process to cleaning a fish a tank. The fish tank resembles the body, while the gunk and grime that form in it at are the free radicals. Antioxidants act as bottom-feeder fishes that suck up all the dirt in the tank. In the same manner, antioxidants scavenge the body for free radicals and eliminate them by slowing down or inhibiting the body’s oxidation process. High antioxidant levels in the body may help keep certain diseases in check such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Antioxidants were also associated with improved eye health, immune system and slower aging process.
Learn more about plant nutrients at Nutrients.news.