The word antioxidant get’s thrown around a lot when talking about food and health. While you probably know antioxidants are healthy, something you want to eat plenty of in your diet, but do you know what an antioxidant actually is?

Antioxidants are compounds found in plant-based foods that prevent damage to cells called free radicals. A free radical is an atom that has a single unpaired electron in it’s outer shell (not important to remember) that causes oxidative damage to cells in the body (important part to remember). A certain amount of free radicals in the body is normal, and not necessarily harmful, but excessive free radicals have been linked to accelerated aging, and chronic diseases including Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and beans ensures you’re getting plenty of antioxidants, but there are some foods that are especially rich. Here’s a list of some of the most antioxidant rich foods:

Trying to get more antioxidants in your diet? Try these antioxidant-rich recipes from registered dietitians:

What’s your favorite antioxidant rich food? Share your comments below!

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