20 Foods High In Antioxidants—And Why You Should Eat More Of Them

20 Foods High In Antioxidants—And Why You Should Eat More Of Them

Everyone knows antioxidants are good for you - but what exactly are they? Well, in the simplest terms, antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals in your body. Those free radicals are compounds that have been directly linked to multiple illnesses like diabetes and cancer. Even though your body has its own antioxidant defences, helping to boost them with the right diet is highly recommended by any nutritionist. That's why we've put together a list of our 20 favorite foods to help your body get all the antioxidants it needs. 

1. Blueberries

Blueberries are as delicious as they are versatile. There's a reason why they are known as a 'superfood.' Enjoy them by the handful or throw them into a smoothie for a delicious boost. Blueberries have been linked to help lower blood pressure, increase brain health, and fight inflammation. 

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2. Dark Chocolate

You wouldn't find most chocolate at the grocery store on a 'health foods' list, but that's what sets dark chocolate apart. It's rich in beneficial minerals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc which are known for reducing inflammation and decreasing the risk of heart disease. Just don't go too overboard since the calories can add up fast! 

rivage-4ewSZirtA7U-unsplash.jpgPhoto by rivage on Unsplash 3. Kale

There is a reason why Kale has exploded in popularity. Kale is another superfood that offers an abundance of nutrients and health benefits. Aside from protecting against heart disease and diabetes, kale has also been linked to improve bone, skin, and hair health. If salads aren't your thing, try adding some to a smoothie or omelette.  

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4. Pecans

Pecans are extremely versatile and good for you! You can grab a handful just by themselves, add them to a salad, muffins, banana bread, or your favorite trail mix. Pecans have been linked to improve heart health, stabilize blood sugar, and promote brain function. Just make sure to enjoy them in moderation since they are high in calories. 

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5. Red kidney beans

Beans, beans, they're good for your heart...we all known the old saying, but its actually true! Kidney beans are rich in carbs, protein, and fiber meaning they'll keep you full for longer. They are actually known as the best source of plant-based protein for all those non-meat eaters out there. Just make sure to cook them properly because raw or undercooked kidney beans can be toxic. 

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6. Spinach

Popeye had it right all along! High in essential nutrients, adding spinach to your diet will help with digestion, eye health, disease prevention, and blood pressure. Try including it to your favorite smoothies and pastas. Hot tip: When storing spinach, add a sheet of paper towel to absorb some of the moisture and extend its shelf life. 

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7. Artichokes

Who doesn't love a good artichoke dip? Artichokes have been linked to help lower blood sugar levels, improve digestion, and even lower cholesterol. Despite some people thinking they are difficult to prepare, you can steam, boil, roast, or grill them, then add to your favourite dips, sauces, and salads. 

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8. Strawberries

Strawberries are low in calories compared to other fruits and are packed with essential nutrients. The health benefits of strawberries include: helping to prevent heart disease, inflammation, protecting against cancer, alleviating joint pain, and supporting gut health. Strawberries have also been linked to help prevent big spikes in both blood sugar and insulin levels, meaning your energy levels won't fluctuate as much throughout the day. 

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9. Walnuts

Walnuts have a higher concentration of antioxidants compared to all other nuts. They provide a ton of essential nutrients and are high in omega-3s. Countless studies have proven that walnuts were among the foods that made the strongest contribution to a healthy diet - so make sure you add some into yours today! A handful of walnuts is the perfect way to add that delicious nutty flavour to cakes, breads, pestos, sauces, and salads. 

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10. Green tea

Trading in your daily mocha-latte for a cup of green tea will give you a serious health boost. Green tea has been linked to alleviate anxiety and stress, enhance memory, and reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol. It's also filled with catechins, an antioxidant that helps break down fats and boost metabolism, making it the perfect drink to get that summer beach bod. 

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11. Goji berries

Goji berries are packed with antioxidants and medicinal health benefits. Often sold dried or in a powdered form, you can find them added into a number of supplements and juices. Sometimes called wolfberries, goji berries' unique sweet & sour flavor makes them perfect to add to sweet dishes or mixed into baked goods. 

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12. Turmeric

In traditional Chinese medicine, Turmeric has been used for thousands of years to treat conditions such as digestive disorders, joint pain, respiratory problems, and skin disorders. Add it to your diet by sprinkling in a few teaspoons to curries, soups, rices, and stews. 

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13. Oranges

Oranges are as good for you as they are tasty. Packed with vitamin C and a ton of other essential nutrients, studies have shown adding oranges to your diet is a great way to help lower the risk of a number of health conditions. If you like to have a fresh glass of OJ in the morning, just be careful of added sugar. 

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14. Beets

Roast them in olive oil, blend them into dips, or add them into salads to get a mega-nutrient boost to your diet. Beets are filled with nitrates that have been linked to cardiovascular health, so if you want to run faster for longer, eat beets! 

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15. Cranberries

Although cranberries offer less antioxidants compared to blueberries, they offer other health benefits that make them an important addition to any diet. Cranberry juice is probably best known for its ability to treat UTIs, but its also been linked to improved skin and hearth health. It's also one of the few fruits that are high in pro-anthocyanidins, which help protect collagen and prevent cognitive decline. 

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16. Cinnamon

Not only is cinnamon packed with antioxidants, it's also been found to help with inflammation, bad breath, lower blood sugar, and help prevent cancer. It's an extremely versatile spice that can be added to both sweet and savory dishes, so make sure you add some into your diet for a medicinal boost. 

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17. Carrots

Everyone has heard that carrots are good for your eyes, which is true, but they're filled with other beneficial nutrients as well. Carrots can also help reduce the risk of heart disease, boost brain health, and support your immune system. Eat them raw or cooked, with your favorite dip or blended into sauces. They're extremely versatile as an ingredient making an easy way to add more antioxidants into your diet. 

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18. Blackberries

Blackberries are full of vitamins, fiber, minerals and antioxidants that are essential for good health. They are also low in calories and carbs meaning you can eat them by the handful with no guilt. Adding them into a smoothie or salad is an easy way to instantly level up your diet. 

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19. Avocado

Providing a substantial amount of healthy fats, eating avocados can help improve digestion, lower the risk of depression, and prevent bone loss. Considering how nutrient dense they are, avocados are great at helping you feel full for longer. Add them to salads, on their own with some salt & pepper, or into smoothies for an instant health boost. 

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20. Apples

An apple a day keeps the doctor away! Apples are full of antioxidants that help protect your heart, boost brain health, and lower risk of diabetes and cancer. They are also very satiating which helps to curb hunger and help weight loss. Take one on the go or slice up and enjoy with peanut butter for a healthy snack. 

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