You may know that antioxidants are an important part of a healthy diet, but you may not know exactly why. Essentially, antioxidants neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that lack electrons, causing them to rob healthy cells in the body of their electrons. This initiates a chain reaction that can lead to a variety of health problems, diseases, and more. While your body naturally produces antioxidants, it’s essential to supplement these with a diet full of antioxidant-rich foods to stay as healthy as possible.
What happens when you take antioxidants?
Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by offering up their electrons, protecting healthy cells. After free radicals take electrons from antioxidants, there’s no need for them to steal them from healthy cells, and the chain reaction is stopped in its tracks.
Do antioxidants boost your immune system?
Studies say yes! Regularly incorporating antioxidant-rich foods in your diet is an important step towards preventing disease. Clinical trials suggest that people who supplement their diet with antioxidants have stronger immune responses. The same studies found that antioxidant supplementation “protected immune responses in individuals exposed to certain environmental sources of free radicals”. If you’re looking to up your antioxidant intake and strengthen your immune system, read on to discover the best antioxidant foods that fight free radicals and keep your body healthy.
1. Dark chocolate
Calling all chocolate lovers! Dark chocolate is an indulgent treat, but did you know it’s one of the best antioxidant foods out there? Studies have shown that dark chocolate contains up to 14.98 mmol of antioxidants per 100g. Plus, the powerful benefits of cocoa’s antioxidants have the capacity to lower blood pressure, according to trials. When you’re looking for a dark chocolate to add to your routine, opt for one with the highest cocoa content. More cocoa means more minerals and antioxidants!
Kale is a well-known superfood that’s skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years, and for good reason — this leafy green takes the title for one of the best antioxidant foods. 100g of curly kale contains 2.8 mmol of antioxidants on average. Moreover, kale is packed with incredible vitamins, namely A, K, C, and B6. To incorporate more kale into your diet, try adding a handful to your morning smoothie or adding it to your favorite salad blend.
Like several other berries, elderberries contain high levels of antioxidants. Elderberries have high levels of flavonoids, a type of naturally occurring substance in plants that’s known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s not always convenient to get your hands on elderberries or use elderberry syrup, so we recommend taking our Elderberry Gummies in lieu of seeking out fresh berries. Formulated with 150mg of elderberry extract, our Elderberry Gummies deliver the nutrients and benefits of antioxidant-rich elderberries in a convenient and delicious gummy form!
Blueberries aren’t just a tasty, low-calorie snack. They’re rich in antioxidants, vitamins K and C, and minerals, especially manganese. Plus, studies have linked blueberries to decreased motor and cognitive decline from aging. Add blueberries to your smoothies, yogurt, or snack routine for a healthy option that’s not only delicious, but super nutritious.
Loaded with minerals and healthy fats, pecans deliver high levels of antioxidants in every serving. On average, pecans contain 8.5 mmol of antioxidants per 100g with a maximum of 10.62 mmol. While nuts are an important element in a healthy diet, they’re also high in calories and should be eaten in moderation.
Yes, your morning coffee has amazing health benefits on top of a caffeine boost! Research revealed that out of every beverage tested for antioxidant levels, espresso contained the highest quantity by far with an average of 14.2 mmol per 100g. Next time you stop at your favorite coffee shop, you can feel confident knowing your morning beverage is one of the best antioxidant foods for your health.
Eat your spinach! Green vegetables are one of the highest sources of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and spinach is no exception. In fact, spinach delivers up to 0.9 mmol of antioxidants per 100g. Plus, one cup of spinach has less than 10 calories. Add handfuls of spinach to pasta, smoothies, or your scrambled eggs in the morning. If you’re still struggling to incorporate greens into your meals, we recommend adding Green Routine to your diet to make sure you’re getting the nutrients your body craves.
Cranberries are loaded with phenols, a type of antioxidant. Additionally, they’re full of anthocyanins, which give them their signature deep red color. Anthocyanins may fight liver disease, high blood pressure, eye disease, and have demonstrated anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory capabilities. If you’re getting your dose of cranberries with the dried version of the fruit, make sure to limit your intake — dried fruit has significantly more sugar than fresh fruit.
Free radicals can wreak havoc on your body’s ability to stay healthy, but these antioxidant-rich foods can help protect you and keep you healthy. Making antioxidants a regular part of your diet can boost your immune system and prevent health complications in the future. Stay healthy, and eat deliciously!
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