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8 Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Updated on July 6, 2017

What Are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are molecules that inhibit oxidation. Oxidation produces free radicals that are known to damage cells. Antioxidants are key to protecting the cells from damaging and ageing.

Antioxidants Prevent Many Diseases

These powerful substances prevent many diseases. Vitamin C, beta carotene and vitamin E are some well-known antioxidants.

How Do Antioxidants work?

Unstable free radicals damage cells. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by donating their electrons to free radicals.

Consuming foods that have high antioxidant properties can help mitigate free radical damage.

— Mohan Garikiparithi, degree in medicine from Osmania University

Antioxidant Foods

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Antioxidant-Rich Foods

One secret to good health is consuming foods that contain antioxidants. These foods are foundations of a healthy diet. Here are eight of them:

Goji Berries

Also known as wolfberry, goji berry is a bright red edible berry. It is usually dried and used in beverages. With an Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) score of 25,000, goji berry is an excellent source of antioxidants. ORAC is a unit of measurement of antioxidant content in foods.

Goji Berries Contain Essential Amino Acids

There are many good sources of antioxidants, but what makes goji berries stand apart is their amino acids (protein), fatty acids and specific antioxidants. It is not common for a fruit to provide amino acids, especially 11 types considered “essential” that the body cannot produce.

Goji Berries Have 11 Types of Essential Amino Acids That the Body Cannot Produce

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Dark Chocolate

This will definitely delight chocolate lovers. Dark chocolate has an ORAC score of 21,000. "Cocoa is rich in antioxidant flavonoids called flavanols, which include procyanidins, epicatechins, and catechins," says Harold Schmitz, PhD, Director of Science at Mars, Inc.

Dark Chocolate Antioxidant Levels

Gram for gram, dark chocolate contains higher concentrations of antioxidants than apples, black tea, and red wine.

Dark Chocolate Contains High Concentration of Antioxidants

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Pecans

Pecan, which is technically a drupe, is smooth and has a pinkish-brown color. The antioxidant-rich pecans have been consumed by American aborigines for centuries. ORA score: 17,000.

Antioxidants in Pecans Prevent Diseases

A research study conducted in 2011 at the Loma Linda University suggests that antioxidants in pecans promote heart health and prevent diseases. Including pecans in your diet enhances the amount of antioxidants in the body and reduces LDL, the “bad” cholesterol.

Pecan Reduces Bad Cholesterol

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Wild Blueberries

Wild blueberry has made it to the list with an ORAC score of 14,000. Antioxidants in this indigo-colored superfood prevent many deadly diseases and protect the body at cellular level.

Blueberries Prevent Many Harmful Diseases

Wild Blueberries are a good source of antioxidants and have lots of health benefits.

- John Bott, Director of Communications and Special Projects for the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry.

Elderberries

With an ORAC score of 14,000, elderberry is a storehouse of anthocyanin antioxidants. This bluish-black or red berrylike drupe has more flavonoids than blueberries, cranberries, goji berries and blackberries. Elderberry reduces swelling in the mucous membranes to help relieve congestion; it has many health benefits.

Elderberry Is a Storehouse of Anthocyanin Antioxidants.

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Cranberries

Cranberries are red acid berries produced by plants belonging to the heath family. Cranberry, which is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and many essential nutrients, is a superfood.

Cranberries are Loaded with Disease-Fighting Antioxidants

In disease-fighting antioxidants, cranberries outrank nearly every fruit and vegetable--including strawberries, spinach, broccoli, red grapes, apples, raspberries, and cherries.

ORAC score: 9,500.

Cranberries

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They’re [berries] high fiber, high fluid.... They also contain numerous phytonutrients to help fight cancer.

- Sandy Sotnick, a board-certified specialist in oncology nutrition with the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami.

Artichoke

Artichoke, which has a zesty, unique flavor, prevents cancer and lowers harmful cholesterol levels. It has many health benefits. Even though this vegetable appears unappetizing, it has an ORAC score of 9,400. Enjoy this vegetable in your soups and pizzas.

Artichoke

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Kidney Beans

Kidney bean is a legume with an ORAC score of 8,400. Native to Central America and Mexico, kidney beans are loaded with antioxidants and other essential nutrients. Copper in kidney beans is an antioxidant trace element.

Kidney Beans

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5 Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Sl No
Food
ORAC
1
Goji berry
25,000
2
Dark chocolate
21,000
3
Pecan
17,000
4
Wild blueberry
14,000
5
Elderberry
14,000

Summary

  • Antioxidants inhibit oxidation.
  • Antioxidants prevent diseases.
  • Vitamin C is an antioxidant.
  • Goji berry is packed with antioxidants.
  • Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants.

Antioxidants are really like little bodyguards inside your body that protect your cells from disease.

— Cynthia Sass

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