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:
- Dark chocolate
- Citrus – oranges, grapefruit, lemon, lime
- Berries – blueberries, raspberries, cherries, strawberries
- Red wine
- Brussels sprouts
- Garlic and onions
Trying to get more antioxidants in your diet? Try these antioxidant-rich recipes from registered dietitians:
- Marisa Moore Nutrition’s Kale Pesto Naan Pizza; Garlicky pesto is a delicious way to squeeze in leafy greens, especially for people who think they don’t like them.
- Hummusapien’s Creamy Raspberry Chia Pudding; This creamy chia pudding is also rich in healthy omega 3 fats and fiber from chia seeds.
- RDelicious Kitchen’s Broccoli Cauliflower Salad; The broccoli and cauliflower in this fresh recipe give a double dose of cruciferous antioxidants.
- Nutrition Stripped’s Beet Blueberry Muffins; These gluten free muffins get a double-dose of antioxidants from beets and blueberries!
- The Joy of Eating’s Freekeh Salad with Roasted Grapes and Brussels Sprouts; Roasted grapes adds a surprising sweet-tart flavor to this fall-inspired grain salad.
- The Foodie Dietitian’s Roasted Blood Orange Oatmeal; Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin that’s rich in citrus fruits. The roasted blood orange adds a pop of color and flavor to a creamy bowl of oats.
- The Joy of Eating’s Kabocha, Kale, and Roasted Garlic Soup; This antioxidant packed soup is perfect for fighting off cold and flu season.
- The Gourmet RD’s Avocado Dark Chocolate Glazed Donuts; Avocado and chocolate is surprisingly a match made in heaven.
- If you’re short on time and need a quick and dependable way to fuel you day, try Luvo’s vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO So Cal Kale and Bean with red bean, white beans & broccoli.
What’s your favorite antioxidant rich food? Share your comments below!
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