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22 Foods High In Antioxidant That You Must Eat Daily

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Humans need a balanced diet for survival. Hence, an assortment of essential micronutrients is much needed. An example of one such essential requirement is antioxidants.

They are produced by the body for fighting free radical damage. They can be further classified as enzymatic and non-enzymatic. To meet up the daily requirements, a person has to opt for dietary intake.

Some people prefer supplements over foods. But it is important to remember that there is no need for supplements when dietary intake is sufficient.

No matter how powerful the supplements are, natural sources of antioxidants remain on top.

So in this article, we will try to find out some great food sources of antioxidants. Including these in your diet will enrich your diet with numerous nutrients.

Best Antioxidant Foods

Foods Rich In Antioxidants

Generally, low-carb diets and non-veg foods may not be the ideal conditions for fetching maximum antioxidants. The foods restricted in a low-carb diet have high amounts of antioxidants.

Choose and plan your diet accordingly so that you don’t deprive the body of needed nutrition.

Below is a list of antioxidant-rich foods. You can include any of these according to your needs, preferences and diet plans.

  1. Spinach

    Spinach is one of the best and healthy greens. It has uncountable healthy and delicious recipes of smoothies, salads and sauteed spinach come with nutritional benefits. Even a small serving of 100 g can provide vitamin A, vitamin C and iron.

    It also contains[1] lutein, carotenoids, beta carotene and zeaxanthin. This antioxidant-rich food helps promote eye health and prevent macular damage.

    As per sources, 100 g of spinach gives 0.9 mmol of antioxidants.

  2. Beans

    Beans are available in numerous varieties all around the world. They are packed[2] with antioxidants, proteins and carbohydrates. The dietary fibre present in beans keeps the bowel movement regulated.

    Green board beans are one of the richest bean sources of antioxidants. They contain around 2 mmol antioxidants per 100 g.

    Kidney beans are also a high octane source of antioxidants. They contain folate, vitamin C, selenium, zinc and calcium.

    When they are combined with grains, they act as complete proteins. Including them in the diet is a great way of getting closer to the required nutritional value.

  3. Nuts

    The tiniest bit you can add to your diet is nuts. They might be small in size but the benefits are humongous. Nuts are a great source[3] of fibre, proteins, and fats. When it comes to antioxidants, you have options there too.

    Almonds and walnuts are the ones you can rely upon. Both the nuts are low in sodium. Almonds have a good amount of vitamin E. This acts as an antioxidant which helps in cell membrane formation.

    28.4 g of almonds contain about 7.27 mg of vitamin E. Walnuts have more[4] antioxidants than other easily available nuts. This is due to the presence of vitamin E and melatonin.

    Both almonds and walnuts have polyphenols. It helps prevent oxidative damage. Other nuts that can be used are chestnuts and pecans.

  4. Berries

    Berries of different sizes, shapes and vibrant colours are mesmerizing. But they have more to offer than just variety. With varying tastes, they have amazing benefits[5] too.

    Many types of berries are rich in antioxidants. Some of them are –

    • Strawberries- They have plenty of vitamin C, magnesium and fibre. This helps to ensure smooth metabolism. Additionally, they provide antioxidants that neutralise heavy metals in our bodies.
    • Blueberries- They are considered the most nutritious berry as a whole. They are packed with vitamins A, C and B6. They also have phytonutrients that may act as powerful antioxidants.
    • Cranberries- Cranberries are a great companion for women. They help in maintaining healthy vaginal pH. They provide vitamin C, K and magnesium. Polynutritients present in them are good antioxidants. They may prove to be useful in cancer prevention.
    • Raspberries- They are a good source of ellagic acid. It acts as an antioxidant. Additionally, they provide vitamins and fibres. Raspberries may help in preventing the growth of tumour-causing cells. They provide nearly 4 mmol antioxidants per 100g.
    • Goji Berries- They are a perfect source of antioxidants. The combination of lycopene and beta carotene present in them make them very effective for eyes, skin and hair.
      They also boost immunity. This included[6] resistance toward unwanted organisms in the body. They may provide 4.3 mmol antioxidants per 100g.
    • Gooseberries- Like all the other berries mentioned above, they have health benefits too. They have phytonutrients that act as antioxidants. Indian gooseberry[7] popularly known as Amla is a great source too.
      Ayurvedic and traditional uses highlight its role as an antioxidant too. It is good for skin, digestion, eyes, hair and a lot more. Its biggest role is in the detoxification of blood. This aids in the prevention of oxidative damage.
  5. Fruits Rich In Vitamin C

    Vitamins are probably one element fruits are effortlessly rich in. One of those is vitamin C. This vitamin is also a strong[8] antioxidant.

    Popular fruits like peaches, oranges and many more have vitamin C in them besides all the other nutrients they hold.

    Vitamin C present in these fruits tends to protect you from arthritis. They may even boost satiety. One of the fruits rich[9] in vitamin C is guava.

    It is considered a top-of-the-line antioxidant producer in fruits. The presence of antioxidants in it helps a person with brain dysfunctions, heart diseases and inflammations.

  6. Tomatoes

    They are one of the richest sources[10] of lycopene with some vitamin K and C too. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant. Including tomatoes is a good option for losing weight as they have low carbs.

    Moreover, they provide folate and potassium. Altogether it is good for the heart and may reduce the risk of cancer.

  7. Dark Chocolate

    Unlike other chocolates filled with synthetic sugar, dark chocolate is home to many nutrients. This fresh product of cocoa has plant compounds. They help a person in reducing[11] free radicals in cells.

    Dark chocolate is very helpful for skin as well. It adds plumpiness to the face and keeps you hydrated. Dark chocolate with 70 per cent cocoa content or more is best for healthy consumption. It may provide 15mmol antioxidants per 100g.

  8. Hen Eggs

    Even though plant foods are better sources of antioxidants, eggs have their benefits. If you love fluffy omelettes and cannot follow an all veggies and fruits diet, this one’s for you.

    The yolk of hen eggs has lutein and zeaxanthin. If you are willing to increase[12] antioxidant intake, try eating whole eggs and not just egg white.

    Other micronutrients like selenium and carotenoids present in them increase their efficiency.

    Other sources of antioxidants in eggs are

    • Ovalbumin
    • Vitamins
    • Phospholipids
    • Phosvitin
    • Ovoinhibitor
    • Cystatin
    • Ovotransferrin
    • Lysozyme
  9. Fatty Fish

    They are one of the richest known sources of omega-3 fatty acids. They have PUFAs which are extremely healthy. It might help to combat[13] oxidative stress.

    Oily fish take great care of skin, eyes, heart and hair. They prevent free radical and oxidative damage. They also contain selenium which is an excellent antioxidant.

    Some healthy options are salmon, tuna, sardines and herring.

  10. Green Tea

    Snacking and tea time are the much-needed breaks. If this time is accompanied by the right beverage, it can help enhance dietary benefits[14].

    Green tea has a number of benefits as it is rich and popular source of antioxidants. It contains polyphenols that may actively neutralise free radicals.

    Two potent phytochemicals-anthocyanin and pro anthocyanin are anti-inflammatory. They may also help prevent cancer. The best source of high-quality green tea is matcha.

  1. Red Cabbage

    They are high in antioxidants called anthocyanins. It may help you in enhancing your overall body health. In addition, they are high in fiber, so Red cabbage consumption could help you improve[15] your digestive processes.

    Through its consumption, its consumption could empower[16] your body to combat cancer and several heart diseases. Along with this, it is also rich in nutrients such as Vitamin A.

    As a result, it could significantly enhance your immune response to foreign and harmful elements. Regular consumption of red cabbage may also improve your vision ability.

  2. Kale

    It is also high in antioxidants such as polyphenols. Consuming kale raw in your meals[17] may help you provide enhanced nutrition.

    Kale is rich[18] in vitamin A and vitamin K. It could help you improve your heart function. Along with this, this may also help you in dealing with your bulky physique.

    Kale could also play a significant role in helping with blood clots, which may also maintain your blood pressure levels.

  3. Peanut Butter

    Peanut butter is also high in antioxidants. It consists[19] of vitamin E, vitamin B, and manganese. The daily consumption of peanut butter may help you in improving the cell development process.

    Along with this, Peanut butter consumption may help you in dealing with obesity and could[20] also help you in maintaining your blood sugar levels. It could also help you in dealing with the complications related to cancer.

  4. Chia Seeds

    Chia seeds consist of antioxidants such as quercetin. Therefore, its consumption may help enhance your overall[21] health conditions.

    They are also rich in fiber, which may help in maintaining your blood pressure levels. As a result, it could help you deal[22] with several heart problems.

    Also, you might want to note that there are many chia seeds benefits, but there exist several chia seed side effects as well. Hence, you need to be sure you are not allergic to chia seeds and are not overconsuming them.

  5. Raisins

    They are high in antioxidants. In addition, drying raisins may provide a significant amount[23] of antioxidants such as polyphenols.

    Regular consumption could help you by improving your cell growth. Also, it may further prevent[24] cell damage due to lifestyle changes.

  6. Mangoes

    It is rich in beta-carotene antioxidants, which may help provide a yellow[25] color to the fruit. Consuming mangoes could play a significant role in combating free radicals.

    Consuming mangoes may also prevent frequent cell damage, which could keep[26] you away from harmful complications of cancer.

  7. Potatoes

    They are full of antioxidants that may help you prevent several harmful diseases. Potatoes also contain[27] fiber and vitamins.

    Consuming potatoes in meals could help prevent heart problems and enhance heart function.[28] Along with this, it may improve your overall body function.

  8. Carrots

    They consist of antioxidants such as carotenoids and anthocyanins. It may help in protecting you by preventing[29] excessive cell damage. In addition, antioxidants in carrots help in providing color to them.

    Further, this could help you in dealing with heart problems. Along with this, carrot consists of vitamin A. Therefore, its consumption may play a significant role in keeping[30] your eyes healthy.

  9. Avocados

    Avocado is rich in antioxidants and is highly anti-inflammatory. They also contain[31] vitamin C and vitamin E.

    Its consumption may help you prevent several harmful diseases. Also, avocados could help you by enhancing[32] your immune response to foreign elements.

  10. Lettuce

    It is rich in antioxidants such as anthocyanins, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. Along with this, lettuce consists[33] of vitamin A and vitamin C.

    This may help you in enhancing the iron ratio in your body. This could further improve your overall development. Also, its consumption may play an essential[34] role in enhancing your vision.

  11. Honey

    It contains natural[35] antioxidants that may help you improve your overall body function. This could also help in preserving food.

    Consuming honey may help you in preventing several heart problems. Along with this, it could also reduce[36] inflammation by its rich anti-inflammatory properties.

  12. Ginger

    This contains plenty of antioxidants that may help you prevent[37] DNA damage. Also, consuming ginger daily could help in healthy aging.

    Further, it could also strengthen your body which may help combat several[38] chronic complications such as cancer, lung diseases, heart problems, etc.

What Are Free Radicals?

They are unstable molecules. They either donate or gain an electron to attain stability. They are produced in our body during activities like exercise and inflammation.

Some external sources like air pollution, smoking, vaping and x-rays are responsible for the production of free radicals.

The Role Of Antioxidants On Free Radicals

Free radicals are responsible for numerous health problems. They may target brain functioning and cause Alzheimer’s disease. They are not safe for the skin and speed up the ageing process.

They may increase blood cholesterol levels. This can be a serious threat to the heart. Additionally, they affect the coded information in DNA. Cancer is another problem often linked to free radical damage.

To counter the production of free radicals, our body produces antioxidants. They are a natural defence[39] against free radical damage. Therefore, they are also included in the diet for reaping maximum benefits.

They may effectively reduce cell damage caused by free radicals. However, they alone cannot prevent the damage, especially in the case where external sources like smoking are involved.

Some examples of antioxidants are:

  • vitamin E
  • Vitamin A
  • Lycopene
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • omega-6 fatty acids
  • beta-carotene
  • Selenium
  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Carotenoids

Conclusion

Antioxidants are essential for human survival. They are produced by our body to fight free radical damage. These radicals are produced within the body. Some external sources like smoking, pollution and X-rays are also responsible.

They can cause cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart problems and ageing of the skin. Antioxidants may prove to be useful in preventing these diseases beforehand.

Including antioxidants in the diet help in improving one’s health. Plant sources like fruits and vegetables provide enough antioxidants. Some of them are seeds, walnuts, spinach, kale, red cabbage, berries etc.

However, some non-vegan sources like eggs and fatty fish are also healthy options. They are packed with antioxidants too.

According to some researchers, a person needs 3000-5000 ORAC units ( Oxidative Radical Absorbance Capacity) per day for a healthy life.

Do not take a surplus amount as it is either excreted by kidneys or causes damage to the body.

39 References/Sources

Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.

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  31. Avocado, raw. Date of Publication: 10/30/2020. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1102652/nutrients
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  33. Lettuce, green leaf, raw. Date of Publication: 4/1/2019. Available from:https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169249/nutrients
  34. Ho-Min Kang , Mikal E Saltveit. Antioxidant capacity of lettuce leaf tissue increases after wounding. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Dec 18;50(26):7536-41. doi: 10.1021/jf020721c.
  35. Honey. Date of Publication: 4/1/2019. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169640/nutrients
  36. Sarfraz Ahmed, Siti Amrah Sulaiman, Atif Amin Baig, et al. Honey as a Potential Natural Antioxidant Medicine: An Insight into Its Molecular Mechanisms of Action. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018; 2018: 8367846. Published online 2018 Jan 18. doi: 10.1155/2018/8367846
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  38. Ginger root, raw. Date of Publication: 4/1/2019. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169231/nutrients
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