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Antioxidants in Foods

Updated on November 24, 2013

What is the Definition of Antioxidant?

The definition of Antioxidant is as follows:

Definition: An enzyme or other organic molecule that can counteract the damaging effects of oxygen in tissues. Although the term technically applies to molecules reacting with oxygen, it is often applied to molecules that protect from any free radical (molecules with unpaired electron).

This definition was found at

What Do Antioxidants do?

Antioxidants slow down and sometimes even prevent the oxidation of other molecules. When molecules oxidize, they can create free-radicals or cellular bi- products.

Having excess free-radicals in the body can be very harmful on our cellular structure.

For the definition of free-radicals you can visit

Top Foods Containing Antioxidants

The two foods containing the most antioxidants are Blueberries and Dry Beans. They are packed not only with antioxidants but also many other fibers and nutrients with amazing health benefits. Fitting these foods into your daily eating habits will have a positive impact on your health.


Wild Blueberries

Serving size: 1 cup

Antioxidants: 13427

Cultivated Blueberries

Serving size: 1 cup

Antioxidants per serving: 9019

  • The blueberry contains more disease fighting antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable.
  • One serving of blueberries is equal to or greater than five servings of carrots, apples, broccoli or squash.
  • Aids in losing belly fat
  • Helps promote urinary tract health
  • Help preserve vision
  • Promotes good Brain Health
  • Helps prevent Heart Disease
  • Help with Digestion and Constipation
  • Helps fight Cancer

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Poster can be found at
Poster can be found at


Pinto Beans

Serving size: 1/2 cup

Antioxidants: 11864

Besides for Antioxidants Pinto Beans also include many other healthy vitamins and nutrients which include fiber, protein, molybdenum, folate, manganese, vitamin B1, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, potassium and copper.

Kidney Beans

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Antioxidants: 13259

The Kidney Bean is also full of protein and fiber and also includes molybdenum. Molybdenum helps to detoxify sulfites. Sulfites is a mineral which is added to many foods. There are many people who are sensitive to sulfites.

Small Red Beans, Dried

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Antioxidants: 13727

Red beans have the highest antioxidants of all beans. They are also packed with fiber and protein. One cup cooked red beans is equivalent to almost 30% of your daily requirement of protein and iron.

Other Benefits of Beans

  • It has been found that people who eat beans at least four times a week have a 22% less chance of heart disease compared to those who ate them only once a week.
  • Because of the high fiber in beans, it helps people with diabetes control their glucose levels.
  • Beans provide sustained energy which helps consuming less calories and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Keep you regular
  • Lower Cholesterol
  • Rich in Iron

How Antioxidants Help Prevent Aging

Click on Picture for Chart view.

Chart can be found at
Chart can be found at

Other Top Foods For Antioxidants


Serving Size: 1 Cup

Antioxidants: 8983

Cooked Artichoke Hearts

Serving Size: 1 Cup

Antioxidants: 7904


Serving Size:1 cup

Antioxidants: 7701

Dried Prunes

Serving Size: 1/2 Cup

Antioxidants: 7291


Serving Size: 1 cup

Antioxidants: 6058


Serving Size: 1 Cup

Antioxidants: 5938

Red Delicious Apple

Serving Size: One Apple

Antioxidants: 5900

Granny Smith Apple

Serving Size: One Apple

Antioxidants: 5381


Serving Size: 1 Ounce

Antioxidants: 5095

Sweet Cherries

Serving Size: 1 cup

Antioxidants: 4873

Black Plum

Serving Size: One Plum

Antioxidants: 4844

Cooked Russet Potato

Serving Size: One Potato

Antioxidants: 4649

Recipe - Caribbean Red Beans and Brown Rice

I found this recipe on Mayo Clinic.


1 1/2 cups dried small red or kidney beans, picked over and rinsed, soaked overnight, and drained
6 1/2 cups water
3 bay leaves
1 1/4 cups assorted brown rices, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup vegetable stock or broth
1 tomato, cored and diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon hot-pepper sauce
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)


In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the beans, 4 cups of the water and the bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer until the beans are tender, 60 to 70 minutes. Drain and discard the bay leaves.

While the beans are cooking, combine the rices, 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the remaining 2 1/2 cups water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.

In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery; saute until the vegetables are softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Add the allspice, cloves, cayenne, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and the black pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in the cooked beans, the vegetable stock, tomato, thyme and hot-pepper sauce. Cook until the vegetable mixture is heated through, 6 to 8 minutes. Divide the rice among warmed individual bowls. Top each serving with beans and sprinkle with the cilantro.

Nutritional Analysis

(per serving)
Calories382Monounsaturated fat5 gProtein14 gCholesterol0 mgCarbohydrate63 gSodium517 mgTotal fat9 gFiber11 gSaturated fat1 g

Recipe - Blueberry-Banana Frozen Yogurt

I found this recipe at


  • 1 quart blueberries
  • 2/3 cup sliced ripe banana, (1 medium)
  • 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup instant-dissolving sugar
  • 1/4 cup frozen orange-juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon crème de cassis, or black currant syrup


  1. Puree blueberries in a food processor. To remove skins, force the puree through a fine strainer into a bowl.
  2. Add bananas to the food processor and puree. Add the strained blueberry puree, yogurt, sugar, orange-juice concentrate and crème de cassis or black currant syrup and process just until mixed in. If necessary, chill until cold.
  3. Pour into the canister of an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (Alternatively, freeze the mixture in a shallow metal cake pan until solid, about 6 hours. Break into chunks and process in a food processor until smooth.)


Per serving: 175 calories; 0 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 1 mg cholesterol; 43 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 3 g fiber; 24 mg sodium; 229 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (51% daily value).


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    • jennshealthstore profile image

      Jenn 7 years ago from Florida

      Thanks Najia

    • Najia Almas profile image

      Najia Almas 7 years ago

      magnificient. v informative...

    • jennshealthstore profile image

      Jenn 7 years ago from Florida

      Thanks BK. I grew up in Bklyn too!! Just throwing that in!

      I love beans too! Rice cookers are great! Nice to meet you. Thanks for the rate up!

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Great list and I am proud to smugly say that I just had a big handful of blueberries and am a regular pinto (and other beans) eater.

      Glad you included the rice cookers - it is absolutely the best and easiest way to cook perfect rice.

      Nice to meet you too by the way.

      Rated up of course. Yay!

    • jennshealthstore profile image

      Jenn 7 years ago from Florida

      Thank you MissE!

    • MissE profile image

      MissE 7 years ago from Texas

      Great info. Thanks!

    • jennshealthstore profile image

      Jenn 7 years ago from Florida

      Your welcome Expandyourmind. Thanks for reading! There are many types of beans too, so at least you have variety.

    • ExpandYourMind profile image

      ExpandYourMind 7 years ago from Midwest USA

      Thanks for the helpful and healthy information -- particulary the 411 on beans. I will make a conscious effort to include these foods in my diet.

    • jennshealthstore profile image

      Jenn 7 years ago from Florida

      Hi GmaGoldie. Thanks for reading and thanks for the comment. Blueberries are really good! Isn't it wonderful when we find out that foods that we love are actually good for us. : )

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      I love blueberries and they are good for me! Yeah! Wonderful Hub! Keep up the great work!

    • jennshealthstore profile image

      Jenn 7 years ago from Florida

      Thank you GoGreen for your comment. I am glad you could use the info!

    • profile image

      GoGreen Rao  7 years ago

      Dear Jen

      Great to know about the details.. I truly liked it.. Thanks for all the info.. Keep up the good work.

      Regards...GoGreen Rao

    • jennshealthstore profile image

      Jenn 7 years ago from Florida

      Thanks Kaie. I am the opposite, I rather have veggies than fruit.

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 7 years ago

      Great list........... very informative. I've got my fruits, but I guess I need a few more veggies! K

    • jennshealthstore profile image

      Jenn 7 years ago from Florida

      Thanks MaryRenee..Yes antioxidants are very important. I am glad you find it helpful!

    • profile image

      MaryRenee 7 years ago

      Jen: Another great hub! Antioxidants are so very important, this hub is really helpful! Thanks for sharing another excellent hub, Jen! :)

    • jennshealthstore profile image

      Jenn 7 years ago from Florida

      Thank you very much Lady_E. I am happy you find it useful!

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      I love Hubs like this and will be adding this to my Healthy Hub Collection. (Bookmarked and Tweeted) Thanks for writing it. :)