Looking for simple, effective ways to improve your health, both for now and in the future? Our list of 5+ foods high in antioxidants is a great place to start!
Why Should We Eat Foods High in Antioxidants?
You probably didn’t come here to read a scientific article, so I’ll spare you all the complicated, technical details.
Our bodies produce what are known as ‘free radicals.’ We form free radicals by being exposed to environmental stressors, or waste byproduct from the foods we eat.
Over time, if our bodies aren’t processing and eliminating these free radicals efficiently, we experience oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress can create an ideal environment in our bodies for disease to flourish.
Some conditions with a strong link to oxidative stress are:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- …and most diseases where inflammation is the primary cause
How Do Foods High in Antioxidants Work?
How many of you are familiar with the arcade game, Pac-Man? In the game, Pac-Man goes around eating bright, flashing dots that give him energy and allows the ‘cartoon’ to keep going.
In my oddball mind, that’s how I see antioxidants working for us.
Each time we feed our body foods high in antioxidants, they go around like Pac-Man, gobbling up the free radicals and inflammation that make us ill.
Every time we choose a food that gives our body what it needs to fight for us – rather than against us – we take one more step toward health and wholeness.
These are only a few of the best foods high in antioxidants to add daily to your diet.
1. Dark Chocolate
You might not think chocolate should be part of a healthy diet, but dark chocolate is excellent for us in small amounts.
It is packed full of antioxidants, and, dark chocolate has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body which reduces our risk of many diseases.
Unfortunately, not all chocolates are created equal! Milk chocolate is usually highly processed, and often, filled with unhealthy sugars.
Next time you need a chocolate fix, consider a recipe using dark chocolate. Not only is it one of the best foods high in antioxidants, but it’s delicious too!
Can’t stand the bitterness of dark chocolate? Try using Stevia to add some natural sweetness. I use this liquid Stevia every day in my coffee and love it!
Mushrooms are a great food to eat a lot because they’re rich in antioxidants and offer high levels of vitamin D, which is a common vitamin deficiency.
There are several different types of mushrooms and they do vary in the levels of antioxidants.
Black truffles are one of the best for you. They do tend to be pricey, so eating them regularly may be out of the question on many budgets.
If black truffles just aren’t an option for you, here are some other mushroom varieties that pack a big health punch:
Curious about the different types of mushrooms, and want to add more foods rich in antioxidants into your diet?
This list from Health Fitness Revolution might help!
There’s no way we could have a list of foods high in antioxidants and not mention blueberries! After all, there is a reason blueberries often get grouped as a ‘superfood.’
Blueberries are a brilliant food to add to your diet because they’re very low in calories and have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all other fruits and vegetables.
In general, blueberries are delicious and nutritious! They’re not only rich in antioxidants, but also contain high levels of:
- Vitamin C for a strong immune system
- Fiber for a healthy digestive system
- Vitamin K for healthy bones and blood clotting
- Manganese for reducing inflammation & much more!
Snacking on blueberries can help us maintain a healthy weight, overall well-being, and boost our moods!
In our home, we love kale! It’s delicious raw in salads and baked as yummy ‘kale chips.’
In my post, “Small Changes That Could Make A Big Difference,” I mention baking them. They’re simple to make and absolutely delicious!
Kale has gained in popularity because it’s high in antioxidants, low in calories, and packed with all sorts of vitamins and nutrients.
It’s easy to add it to your diet because you can switch it out for other leafy vegetables, like spinach.
You can also make some great kale smoothies, which are the perfect way to start your day and give yourself a big boost of antioxidants.
Kale is the ultimate vegetable for versatility that offers incredible health benefits.
5. Foods High in Antioxidants: Beans
Sorry, jelly beans don’t count! 😀
In all seriousness though, beans are one of the very best foods high in antioxidants.
Beans are also a great source of protein because they are very low in fat, especially when compared with most meats. They’re also high in fiber so they improve digestive health.
Aside from blueberries, beans are one of the best vegetable sources of antioxidants and they are a very versatile food, so you can easily add them to your diet.
Combine all of those healthy benefits together and you’ve got another ‘superfood’ right in your pantry!
Best of all? Most beans are very affordable.
Which Antioxidant-Rich Foods Are Your Favorite?
Adding foods high in antioxidants to our daily diets may not seem like much, but they pack a big punch.
Over time, we begin to see and feel the health benefits of this one positive change.
Which of these foods mentioned above are your favorite? Do you have another antioxidant-rich favorite food? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Thank you for sharing this post with your friends and family too! Together, we can encourage each other to be healthier and happier!