According to the Mayo Clinic, antioxidants are nutrients found in food that may help protect your body’s cells against free radicals. Studies have shown that free radicals may play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. They include environmental and internal elements such as air pollution, cigarette smoke, alcohol intake, toxins, high blood sugar levels, and much more. Your antioxidant intake could assist your body’s ability to purge the free radicals you come into contact with on a daily basis, and is essential to an overall healthy lifestyle. That’s why we’ve compiled the seven best antioxidant-rich foods to start incorporating into your diet today.
Ah, the artichoke. Artichokes are loaded with antioxidants, plus a ton of other nutrients. Think: vitamin c, vitamin k, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and zinc. Artichokes may also lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol, making them a great, healthy option overall. If you didn’t grow up eating artichokes, check out this beginners guide to choosing the best ones and making them tasty.
Blueberries are easy to find in your local grocery store and contain high amounts of antioxidants. They are also low in calories but loaded with nutrients, making them a well-loved superfood. Blueberries are a great snacking fruit, delicious in a smoothie, and versatile enough to work well on top of salads too. Incorporating our elderberry-blueberry extract into your morning routine is another great way to get antioxidant-rich foods in your diet.
This might just be our favorite antioxidant-rich food on this list. That’s right, research shows that dark chocolate has more antioxidant power than any other fruit tested, including the antioxidant superfood above, blueberries. A couple squares of craft dark chocolate will do ya. Rejoice!
Strawberries are great because (duh) they’re chock full of antioxidants; but also, they don’t boost your blood sugar like other fruits will. For a unique spin on your fav red berry, try this strawberry and cucumber tabbouleh recipe for dinner this week or this strawberry shallot salsa recipe on Taco Tuesday.
Pecans rank #1 in antioxidant capacity among all nuts. Plus, pecans are high in protein and make a filling snack. Add a handful to just about any green salad, chop and toss them in your squash soup, or take a page from this list of ways to incorporate pecans daily.
Dark Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are also high in antioxidants, and they’re rich with vitamins A,C,E, and K. Kale, spinach, and broccoli in particular are great go-tos for mixing healthy, antioxidant rich food into your meals. For 19 new ways to eat leafy greens, read this.
Elderberries are packed; in fact, they’re one of the highest sources of antioxidants on this list. But elderberry is different from other antioxidant foods, because you can’t just pick elderberries off the bush and eat them. You won’t find elderberries in the fruit aisle of the grocery store either.
Elderberries must be properly processed (cooked) into an extract, jam, or syrup first, so your body can adequately digest the nutrients they offer. Elderberries are loaded with antioxidants, vitamin c, dietary fiber, phenolic acids, flavonols, and anthocyanins. It’s part of the reason we take our fresh American Elderberries and make them into an extract for you and your family. In one spoonful, you get all of these benefits from the delicious elderberry.