Antioxidants are something you always hear about. People say you need them, but you may be unsure of what they actually do inside the body. The body naturally produces some antioxidants to inhibit oxidation. You don’t want living organisms to rust, essentially, to the point of no return. This is why it is integral to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants.
The body also produces free radicals. Usually, we tell people to eat foods that fight free radicals, but not all free radicals are bad. The liver produces free radicals, which help to detoxify the body. Certain oxygen molecules, when they travel freely in the body, can cause oxidative damage, ultimately resulting in free radical formation. This is where antioxidants come into play. They help combat the formation of these free radicals.
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is full of processed foods, meats, dairy products, medications, and fast foods, and we are constantly exposed to pollutants. All of these contribute to oxidative stress, which is why you need these 5 antioxidant-rich foods in your life.
When it comes to dark-colored berries, almost all of them are rich in antioxidants. Blackberries are at the top of the list, beating out strawberries, cranberries, and raspberries. If you eat 1 cup of blackberries, you’ll fulfill half of your daily vitamin C requirement. Did we mention that vitamin C is an amazing antioxidant? Well, it is!
Kale is all over the health world, and for good reason. Kale is rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants and beta-carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant that promotes healthy skin. Additionally, kale is a great source of vitamin K, which is great for your bones.
As if you needed another reason to love pecans. Pecans are loaded with antioxidants, but make sure you buy raw pecans. Don’t buy the flavored or roasted pecans because the way they are treated counteracts the antioxidant benefits.
Broccoli is very easy to incorporate into your diet because it is incredibly versatile. Roast it, eat it raw, throw it in a stir-fry, or make it into a soup. It has incredible cancer-fighting antioxidants, which have been known to decrease a person’s risk of developing different bladder cancers.
You can put fresh lemon juice in just about anything, but the easiest way to reap its benefits is by squeezing it into your water. Lemons are high in vitamin C, which helps fight free radicals and nourish cells in the body. Other citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit are also great sources of vitamin C.
Other Antioxidant Foods
- Artichoke Hearts
- Kidney Beans
- Brussels Sprouts
- Alfalfa Sprouts
- Bell Peppers