Adding foods high in antioxidant to your diet can make you feel and perform better by strengthening your immune system and slowing the aging process. Additionally, antioxidants have been shown to have a therapeutic effect on mood, which can allow you to lead a happier and more balanced lifestyle. Are you getting enough antioxidants from the food you eat?
Read on to get all the information you need to supplement your diet with antioxidants during every meal. You will learn how to quickly and easily incorporate them into your daily dietary routine by knowing which of the more commonly eaten foods to target. Fruits, vegetables, and meats are all important sources of antioxidants. Let’s have a look at the basic definition and function of an antioxidant, as well as some of the most common types and where to find them.
What Are Antioxidants?
Generally speaking, antioxidants are compounds that prevent damage to cells in your body by inhibiting oxidation and preventing the production of free radicals. Free radicals are atoms and molecules that can harm your body by altering the natural progression of biochemical reactions and preventing cellular repair.
The “oxidative stress” caused by free radical buildup can accelerate the aging process.
Specifically, free radicals make us more susceptible to the development of diseases such as:
- Cancer – All types
- Hypertension, Heart Attack, & Stroke
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Asthma and Emphysema
- Inflammatory Diseases like Lupus, Colitis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – See How To Diet With Irritable Bowel Syndrome And Feel Great Again! and What Is Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth? – How To Conquer Your Bloating Crisis!
- Alzheimer’s and other memory disorders
- Macular Degeneration
- Anxiety and Depression
- Fatigue: For more information see Chronic Fatigue Causes – Find The Energy You’ve Been Missing!
Antioxidants are found in many of the foods we eat but predominantly in fruits, vegetables, and meats. They can be broken down into the following categories:
- Vitamins – Especially A, C, & E
- Minerals – Manganese (which forms superoxide dismutase or SOD), Zinc, Copper, Selenium, and Iodine
- Carotene – Alpha & Beta carotene, Lutein, and Lycopene
- Flavanoids ( A type of polyphenol)
- Enzymes & Co-enzymes – Co-Enzyme Q10
- Hormones (Melatonin)
Here is Wikipedia’s list of antioxidants.
However, not all antioxidants are naturally found in the foods we typically eat. Here is a breakdown of some of the most commonly eaten foods high in antioxidants.
Fruits can be an excellent source of “portable antioxidants” because they can be eaten without time-intensive preparation and are convenient to eat “on-the-run”. Many people, especially children, are more likely to add additional fruits to their diet than vegetables. These foods are typically lower in sodium and potassium, which can be beneficial in people with heart and kidney problems. Fruits are also a healthy source of carbohydrates (fructose), especially for people with metabolic disorders like diabetes.
Examples of fruits with antioxidant activity include:
- Mangoes Peaches, Apricots, Cantaloupe, and Tomatoes – Vitamin A
- Oranges, Strawberries, and Blueberries – Vitamin C
- Kiwi, Avocados, Blackberries, and Cranberries (dried) – Vitamin E
- Raspberries, Plums, and Pomegranates – Polyphenols (large branched-chain organic molecules)
- Schisandra berries (Flavinoids) – See Thirteen Schisandra Berry Benefits – Improve Your Memory, Mood, And Physical Well-Being!
Eat Your Veggies
The US Department of Agriculture recommends a daily vegetable consumption of one to four cups. Vegetables are generally under-consumed in many areas of the world. Veggies get a bad rap, especially among children and meat-eaters, as the part of the meal that is “totally optional”. In point of fact, nothing could be further from the truth. In addition to being a major component of the fiber in our diet (think carrots, beets, and broccoli), vegetables play an important role in promoting digestive health. Properly prepared, vegetables can become a delicious and enticing part of any meal.
Examples of antioxidant-rich vegetables are:
- Squash, Broccoli, Sweet Potatoes, and Kale – Vitamin A
- Green Peppers, Broccoli, and Cabbage – Vitamin C
- Leafy Green Vegetables, Nuts, Seeds, and Whole Grains – Vitamin E, and Lutein (in leafy greens)
- Carrots, Spinach, and Beans – Carotene
- Parsley, Basil, Garlic, Onion, and Spices such as Pepper, Oregano, Sage, Thyme, Clove, and Cinnamon – Polyphenols
- Nuts – Manganese, Copper, and Zinc
Healthy “Heart-Friendly” Meats
Seafood predominantly comprises the fish and shellfish categories.
Fish – Manganese, Copper, Selenium, and Zinc
Shellfish – Manganese, Copper, Zinc, and Iodine.
The following shellfish contain iodine, which is a common source of seafood allergy:
- Clams, Mussels, Scallops, and Oysters
- Crab and Lobster
- Shrimp and Prawn
Lean meats – Manganese, Copper, and Zinc
- Chicken and Turkey
- Pork, Veal, and Lamb
- Low Fat Beef (90% meat/10% fat)
Milk is an animal byproduct that contains Vitamin A, Flavinoids, Manganese, Copper, and Zinc.
Dark Chocolate – The Healthy Treat
If you are a chocolate lover then your best bet is to “go dark”, since dark chocolate contains a variety of flavinoids (specifically flavinols) and other polyphenols, as well as zinc. Chocolate that has a 70% or higher cocoa content is the richest in antioxidants but is also more bitter-tasting and has a higher caffeine content. At the same cocoa content, the price and quality of the chocolate has very little to do with its type and amount of antioxidants, unless they are added artificially. Although milk is a good source of antioxidants its important to note that milk chocolate takes second place behind the dark variety.
Summing It All Up
The importance of a well-balanced and nutritious meal cannot be overemphasized. Antioxidants play a key role in keeping the body healthy by preventing cellular damage and can reduce the effect of the aging process on tissues and organs. Vitamins play an important role in the regulation of numerous biochemical reactions in our body and some have antioxidant activity as well.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamins set forth by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences is coming under scrutiny by several nutritional organizations as being set too low for many categories of vitamins and minerals. This highlights the importance of augmenting dietary supplements, like multivitamins, with foods that are naturally rich in antioxidants.
Antioxidants are found in numerous fruits, vegetables, and meats. Good meal planning can provide a large variety of essential antioxidants, although not all antioxidants are found in the foods we typically eat. Meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans will need to define meal plan strategies that best address their various dietary lifestyles. Learning which antioxidants are present in the foods you eat most frequently can be extremely helpful in this regard. Dietitians can provide excellent guidance for special needs individuals, such as those with diabetes and high cholesterol problems.
Tell Us What You Think!
Please let us know what’s on your mind in the comment section.
- Do you have any important tips or suggestions?
- How are you adding antioxidants to your diet?
- What health benefits have you noticed?
14 thoughts on “Foods High In Antioxidant – Eating Smart For Better Health”
Nowadays, many people love to buy those fancy cosmetics or beauty products which they think can “freeze” their age forever 18. But, they never put their attention on controlling their diet.
I think your article will wake up a lot of these people, and teach them how to eat healthily and be forever young with the right diet!
Thanks for sharing!
Thank You for your comments! I fully agree with you. A healthy diet has much more value because it improves your body’s structure and function from “the inside”. External cosmetics also have their place because when you look good you tend to feel good, but the right diet and exercise are the real keys to good living and staying young.
Thank you so much for this article,
You have gone into great detail regarding Anti Oxidants and made it really easy to understand. In a world usually full of pollution and toxins that make us ill and environments that are generally unhealthy the anti oxidants you talk about are so important.
Food and nutrition is so important as every mineral and vitamin is needed by the body so thank you for sharing.
Thank You for liking my article! I’m so glad that you found it useful. You sound like someone who is very knowledgeable about how to live a healthy lifestyle. It’s getting harder and harder to avoid toxins in our food and environment but, as you know, it’s well worth the effort.
This article is a very useful one. The information on antioxidants given in this article is great. The author has not jumped straightway talking about a food item but has explained the concept of antioxidants and how they are beneficial for the body, which is so good. Such elaborate information is going to help so many people who read this article. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article and I am going to forward it to my family and friends. This is a must-read for everyone. Such a well-written article it is! Thank you for sharing with us.
I am quite thrilled that you found the information in the article useful! Your interest in antioxidants will serve you well, in terms of protecting your body from free radical damage as you continue to age. I would be honored and greatly appreciate it if you share this information with your family and friends!
Hi Frank, on entering your site the bold heading of “Anti-Aging And Rejuvenation And Resource Center” was a captivating title deserving my attention. Healthy Eating is my Nitche, and I am eating up your information on this subject.
I have personally transitioned to a diet high in Fruits with antioxidants, and have seen a weight reduction, energy level increase and I have been getting remarks by friends of how young I have been looking over the years like I am not aging.
Fruits have been my medicine and I take them every day of the week except on the day of my consecration Wednesdays, at least four different kinds that are high in antioxidants.
This is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle a healthy breaking of the Fast in the morning. What you are setting on course is The Assimilation, Appropriation, and Elimination functions of your body. If for any reason Fiber and Water are not in this first function in good proportions then the other two functions will malfunction.
All of creation is Founded upon Water, the processing of food in your system requires it to do all of its bodily functions; so the first thing you should have even before brushing your teeth is several glasses of water your building block of good health. Then hot herbal tea unprocessed leaves of fruit trees; mango, avocado, lime, lemongrass, soursop, etc. Now you are ready for your fruits and if you check water is present in the three courses of what is considered breaking a fast or Breakfast.
Further to my lifestyle is that I am fast moving towards a plant-based diet, thanks to my wife who is a Vegetarian. Red meats are out, am down to turkey and fish, am 80% toward my goal.
Commenting on your site was an exciting adventure for me; at first, I began underscoring your site design and presentation but, adjusted to address your questions.
Thanks for the refresher course experience in viewing your website.
Thoughts on foods high in antioxidants, here is a list: Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Goji Berries, Kale, Pecans, Red or Purple Cabbage, Beans, Beets, and Spinach.
Thank You for your list. It’s great to see how committed you are to this! It takes a lot of organization and effort to consistently eat healthy meals but you only have one body and its only as good as what you feed it. I think that younger people are generally much more keyed-in on this than my generation.
Thank You for taking the time to write such an extensive and useful post in the comment section! I think your diet is moving in an excellent direction and your enthusiasm is infectious. I am consistently trying to improve my diet but I must admit that I have a long way to go, compared to you.
Best Of Health, & Stay Safe,
Hey nice article you have there, your thoughts are indeed invaluable. Our health is a reflection of the kind of meal will take into the body system. The importance of Body cells to ones well-being cannot be overemphasize, Antioxidants has proven to be effective in protecting the body cells hence the need for one to consume foods/fruits that are rich in Antioxidants is very necessary
I really appreciate your comment! I agree with you that the human body does need to be cared for and protected against free radicals one cell at a time. Antioxidants help the immune system operate at peak performance, which is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself against cellular damage.
Hello there, thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful piece of information here with us. I must say i really did enjoyed going through your article as it is very informative and i also find it really educative. I think eating healthy in order to body up ones immune system is what we all need at this point in time, thanks for sharing these high antioxidant foods.
Thank You for reading my article and I’m really happy that you found it useful! We can all improve our diet and nutrition. Keeping your body healthy is one of the best things you can do in the pursuit of a happy life.