Healthy Natural Antioxidants From Foods

Plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, edible flower seeds, and whole grains contain many components that are beneficial to human health. The health benefits associated with a diet rich in plant foods is at least partially due to the variety of antioxidants they provide according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2014 study reviewed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Antioxidants are also used as preservatives to increase the shelf life of both natural and processed foods. Therefore, they’re frequently used as food additives per a 2013 Meat Science (NIH) review. For instance, vitamin C is often added to processed foods to act as a preservative.

Plum, and grape seed extract, cranberry, pomegranate, bearberry, pine bark extract, rosemary, oregano, and other spices functions as antioxidants in meat and poultry, as well.  Much research supports the  belief that Foods High For Antioxidants is part of a proven plan in achieving an overall healthy diet, and have the potential to delay the onset of many age-related diseases due to oxidation from free radical damage, found a 2007 Clinical Intervention In Aging (NIH) study. Free radicals are constantly being formed in your body, but without antioxidants, free radicals would cause serious harm very quickly, eventually resulting in death.

Free radicals do serve an important function that is essential for health by reducing infections, according to a 2014 Biomedical Research International study reviewed by the NIH. Your immune cells use free radicals to fight infections, so, as a result, your body needs to maintain a certain balance of free radicals and antioxidants confirmed a older 1998 Blood study out of New Zealand reviewed by the NIH.

When free radicals outnumber antioxidants in the body, it can lead to a state called oxidative stress. Prolonged oxidative stress can damage your DNA increasing your risk of cancer, and some scientists have theorized that it plays a pivotal role in the aging process and other important molecules in your body. Sometimes it even leads to cell death, according to a study published in the 2016 Journal of Post Graduate Medicine (NIH).

Unhealthy Free- Radical Cell Damage

These observational studies have led to continuing research aimed at identifying specific bio active components in foods, such as antioxidants, which may be responsible for improving and maintaining health and immune system functioning and ageing, as in a 2002 European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (NIH) study. Here is what the NIH study had to say about antioxidants:

Therefore, since the immune system is an indicator of health and a longevity predictor, the protection of this system afforded by dietary antioxidant supplementation (natural) may play an important role in order to achieve a healthy ageing.

In addition vegetables, fruits, nuts, edible seeds, and whole grains high with antioxidants are also typically high in fiber, low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and good sources of other micronutrients such as important vitamins and minerals, including trace minerals, amino acids, anti-inflammatories, and omega 3 fatty acids.

Antioxidants are present in foods as vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, per a 2002 Nutrition and Human Care (NIH) study; and polyphenols, per a 2009 Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity (NIH) study, among other substances. The flavonoids group, per a 2016 Journal of Nutritional Science (NIH) study, for example, of plant antioxidant have many beneficial health effects, like significantly decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), found a 2014 British Journal of Nutrition (NIH) review.

The human body produces free radicals as a byproduct of normal cellular activity, and the body dispenses many of them on its own, determined a 2008 International Journal of Biomedical Science (NIH) study. However, too many free radicals caused typically by chronic inflammation, known as oxidative stress, per a 2015 Biomolecules (NIH) study, and to repeat, can be potentially harmful because they attack healthy cells and can damage them and potentially trigger the development of cancer, and also damage molecules such as in DNA.

Eating Nutrient-Dense Foods For Lifetime Health

Antioxidants (1) are chemicals compounds that block the activity of free radicals. As covered in a 2013 Environmental Science Pollution Research International (NIH) study, certain environmental factors and poor behaviors can also trigger and increase the levels of free radicals in our bodies such as lack of sunlight, poor diet such as overeating processed foods or fast foods or high fat foods, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, drug abuse, over-exercise or no exercise, prescription medications, ozone, radiation, and pollutants (air and water).

For example, high oxidative stress has been proposed as the root cause underlying the development of insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes per a 2006 study in the International Journal of Clinical Practice (NIH review). Another example, found an older 1998 Prostaglandins Leukot Essential Fatty Acids (NIH) review, is a high intake of polyunsaturated linoleic (LA) fatty acids leads to increased oxidative stress, which may be associated with endothelial damage.

Too much or too little oxygen in your body is another indicator of too much oxidative stress per a study published in the 2002 Journal of Neurochemistry study reviewed by NIH. Or, how about intense and prolonged exercise, which causes tissue damage according to another 2008 Physiology Review (NIH) review.

And last but not least, antioxidant deficiency causes oxidative stress-causing oxidant-induced injury confirmed in a study in the 1997 American Journal of Physiology reviewed by the NIH. Too sum it up, prolonged oxidative stress also leads to an increased risk of negative health outcomes, such as cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer according to a 2017 Circulation (NIH) review.

Natural Versus Synthetic Antioxidants

There are literally thousands of synthetic or man-made vitamins, minerals, and supplements claiming to be antioxidants, but clinical trials, like this 2017 NIH National Cancer Institute study “Antioxidants and Cancer Prevention“, show they have no significant effect in fighting free-radical damage and reducing your risk of developing cancer or dying from the disease.

Nutrient-Rich Mediterranean Diet For Healthy Genes

In fact, studies have shown excessive intake of antioxidants supplements, such as vitamins C and E can cause an imbalance between antioxidants and pro-oxidants causing oxidative stress, found another 2014 Biomedical Research International (NIH) review.

The NIH calls it the “Antioxidant Paradox”, because excessive intake of isolated antioxidants can have toxic effects and may even promote rather than prevent oxidative damage, found a older 2000 Lancet study reviewed by the NIH. Some studies like this 2009 Annals In Internal Medicine (NIH), even show that high doses of antioxidant vitamin E increase your risk of death.

Attempts to mimic natural antioxidants effects with supplements have been largely unsuccessful; it seems nature remains smarter than mankind when it comes to furnishing natural antioxidants.  According to a 2013 Antioxidants (Basel) study reviewed by the NIH, part of the reason for this seems to be bio-availability of plant-derived antioxidants in the forms of carotenoids, polyphenols and sulfur compounds.

Your body “knows” how to assimilate and use natural antioxidants; it does not know how to use the lab-made versions.  However, and we can’t stress it enough, ongoing research, like this 2016 Critical Review of Food Science Nutrition (NIH) study, continues to show Foods High For Antioxidants rich in natural phytochemicals, including fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, edible flower seeds, and whole grains, are effective and lower your risk for cancer and other illnesses and conditions.

Solution is to avoid man-made antioxidants supplementation and eat natural foods high in antioxidant the way nature intended. According to the 2004 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (NIH) study, it’s a simple strategy, to ensure adequate antioxidant intake is to follow a diet rich in various vegetables and fruits, alongside other healthy habits.

Combined Antioxidants Advantages

Healthy Antioxidant-Rich Fruits and Vegetables

Each antioxidant substance has a specific action, such as berries, green tea, dark chocolate, and coffee are renowned for being good sources of antioxidants, per a 2010 Nutrition Journal. Here’s an interesting stat, coffee is the single biggest source of antioxidants in the Western diet, per a 2004 Journal of Nutrition (NIH) study, but the crazy reason this is so, is partly because the average individual doesn’t eat that many antioxidant-rich foods.

Antioxidants like the spice turmeric (curcumins) and extra virgin olive oil (oleocanthal) serve a dual-purpose by also having potent anti-inflammatory properties, as well, according to a study in the 2013 Journal of National Science of Biological Medicine (NIH). We haven’t mentions animal protein foods like meat and fish.

They also contain antioxidants, but to a lesser extent than fruits and vegetables which was confirmed in research in a 2012 Meat Science study in Turkey (NIH). But it is in combination that antioxidants appear most powerful. That’s why it so important to eat a variety of all natural high antioxidant foods, according to a Mayo Clinic “Antioxidants” study.

Bright Colors Make A Difference

According to a 2013 Harvard Health “Add Color to Your Diet For Good Nutrition” study, any antioxidants are identified in their food by their distinctive colors, such as the deep red of cherries and of tomatoes; the orange of carrots or sweet potatoes; the yellow of corn, mangoes, and saffron; and the blue and purple of blueberries, blackberries, and grapes. The most well-known components of food with antioxidant activities are vitamins A, C, and E; Beta-carotene; the mineral selenium; and more recently, the compound lycopene.

Authority Recommendations Of Healthy Antioxidants

Healthy Antioxidant-Rich Fresh Fruit

The American Heart Association Circulation 2004 “Antioxidant Vitamin Supplements and Cardiovascular Disease” study recommends healthy adults

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Choose 5 or more servings per day.

The American Cancer Society in a 2020 “American Cancer Society Guideline for Diet and Physical Activity” study recommends to

Eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

Most recently the US Government Dietary Guidelines for Americans stated,

,Increased intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products are likely to have important health benefits for most Americans.

The bottom line is the same: eat more fruits and veggies,

says Ronald L. Prior, Ph.D., a chemist and nutritionist with the USDA’s Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center in Little Rock, Ark., and lead author of the USDA 2019 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

This study confirms that those foods are full of benefits, particularly those with higher levels of antioxidants. Nuts and spices are also good sources.

Did you get the point? Eat 5 fruits and vegetables each day (2)

Healthy Antioxidant-Rich Fresh Vegetables

A 2010 Antioxidants (Basel reviewed by the NIH found that a diet high in antioxidant-rich foods from an early age can offer protection against age-related ocular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma.Another 2012 Advanced Nutrition study reviewed by the NIH, concluded that higher fruit and vegetable intake (and antioxidants and fiber) is a “powerful tool” in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, poor cognitive performance, and other diet-related diseases.  A 2003 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reviewed by the NIH, found that increased consumption of antioxidants led to,

reduced risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, Alzheimer disease, cataracts, and some functional declines associated with aging.

FRAP Antioxidant Score

Variety Antioxidant-Rich Tree Nuts

Antioxidants are measured based on an FRAP ferric reducing ability of plasma) score. (3) A substance is rated based on its ability to neutralize damage causing oxygen free radicals. Usually, this is based on 100 grams of each food substance or herb. Some foods with extremely high FRAP scores are Gobi berries, wild blueberries, dark chocolate, pecans, artichokes, elderberries, kidney beans, cranberries, and blackberries, cherries, broccoli, kale, alfalfa sprouts, whole-grain bread.

Some herbs and spices and other foods have super high FRAP scores, found a 1996 Annals of Biochemistry (NIH) study. They include cloves, cilantro, cinnamon, oregano, turmeric, cocoa (dark chocolate), sage, rosemary, cumin, parsley, basil, ginger, and thyme. Garlic, cayenne pepper, coffee (espresso), and green tea are said to have high ORAC scores too. But ORAC scores are based on weight, and at times it is not practical to eat these foods in such high quantities to be totally effective.

But, go ahead and season your food liberally because it’s good for you besides tasting great! There are other foods which can be eaten in large quantities on a regular and practical basis and have a fairly high ORAC score. Eating three to four servings of these is much more plausible. No doubt these would play a significant role in winning the battle with free radicals.

Partial List Of Super Antioxidant Foods

2010 BMC Nutrition Journal “The Total Antioxidant Content of More Than 3100 Foods, Beverages, Spices, Herbs and Supplements Used Worldwide” research published in analyzed the antioxidant content of more than 3,100 foods and drinks. Here’s just a partial list to summarize some top antioxidant performers:

Variety Antioxidant-Rich Edible Flower Seeds

Organic Pecans. Pecan have a high FRAP antioxidants rating of 10.6, per a 2010 Nutrition Journal (NIH) study, and are known to be a great source of essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. They provide a whole array of phytonutrients that contribute to their health benefits, according to a 2016 Asian Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition (NIH) study.

These include anti-inflammatory, antiviral and cholesterol reducing properties. A 2006 Elsevier study published in Nutrition research found that people who consumed 20 percent of their daily calories from pecans experienced significantly increased blood antioxidant levels.

In another 2011 Journal of Nutrition (NIH) study, people who consumed pecans experienced a 26–33 percent fall in oxidized blood LDL levels within 2 to 8 hours. High levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol in the blood is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke and concluded,

These results show that bioactive constituent of pecans are absorbable and contribute to postprandial antioxidant defenses.

One cup of Pecan nuts contains more than 100 percent of the daily needed amount of healthy fats and more than 200 percent of the needed manganese. Pecans are also a great source of thiamine which is part of Vitamin B complex per a “Walnuts and Pecans” study. These nuts are nothing short of boasting with properties that help defy your age and keep your skin firm.

Variety Healthy Fresh Antioxidant-Rich Herbs

Organic Cranberries. Cranberries are packed with Vitamin C, a well-known antioxidant. One cup of cranberries has enough Vitamin C to satisfy a quarter of the daily recommended dose. Cranberries have several unique sets of antioxidants known as proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, and quercetin which may be beneficial for heart health according to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition (NIH). These are not usually found in other fruits and berries.

Cranberries are known to cure and lower the risk of urinary tract infections. A-type proanthocyanidins prevent E. coli from attaching to the lining of your bladder and urinary tract, making cranberries a potential preventive measure against UTIs, found a study published in the 2005 Journal of Phytochemistry (NIH) study. However, according to another NIH 2000 Cochrane Database System Review (NIH) study, at this time, there is no good quality evidence to suggest that it is effective for the treatment of urinary tract infections and further trials should be run.

Cranberries are now being seen as a possible alternative to treatment with antibiotics. Besides, cranberries are packed with phenolic bio active compounds that help you ace the health game, per a 2013 Advances In Nutrition (NIH) study. The phenolic proanthocyanidins may cut your risk of stomach cancer by preventing H. pylori from attaching to the lining of your stomach according to a 2008 Nutrition study reviewed by NIH. Bacteria H pylori is considered to be the major cause of ulcers, digestive inflammation, and stomach cancer.

Organic Strawberries. Strawberries are a rich source of Vitamin C, B6 and various other antioxidants. They are known to improve the health of one’s skin and heart respectively. An 2016 Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism (NIH) study shows that strawberries are a significant source of antioxidant polyphenols. Moreover, strawberries contain a type of antioxidant called anthocyanins, which give them their red color according to a study published in a 2013 Breed Science reviewed by NIH.

2009 research published in the American Journal in Clinical Nutrition (NIH) has shown that anthocyanins may help reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and raising “good” HDL cholesterol. A 2016 Nutrients review of 10 studies, also reviewed by the NIH, found that taking an anthocyanin supplement significantly reduced LDL cholesterol among people who had either heart disease or high LDL levels.

Strawberries that have a higher anthocyanin content tend to be brighter red. Anthocyanins play a crucial role in the prevention of conditions related to obesity which includes metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes per a 2012 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (NIH) study. Besides that strawberries are also known as a natural tooth whitener.

Healthy Antioxidant-Rich Whole Grain Wheat Kernels

Organic Artichokes. Artichokes have the highest content of antioxidants and antioxidant activity ,with a FRAP analysis of 4.7, among all known vegetables, per this 2003 Journal of Agriculture Food Chemistry (NIH) study. They have a long history and the ancients used their leaves as a remedy to treat liver conditions like jaundice according to a 2015 Plant Foods Human Nutrition (NIH) study.

Besides antioxidants, they are loaded with Vitamin C, folic acid, and flavonoids, dietary fiber among others, per a Self Nutrition Data report. Besides, they are also a great source of magnesium.

Artichokes are known to play a role in improving heart and liver health over long periods of consumption. Artichokes are especially rich in the antioxidant known as chlorogenic acid. Studies like this one published in a 2015 Food Function Journal (NIH) suggest that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of chlorogenic acid may reduce the risk of certain cancers, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Just 100 grams of cooked artichokes contain more than 30 percent of the recommended daily fiber intake. A 2015 Plant Foods and Human Nutrition (NIH) study confirmed that artichokes do play a role in reducing cholesterol levels and assist in controlling heart disease.

Organic Blueberries. Blueberries have a FRAP rating of 9.2 which ranks it 3rd behind dark chocolate and pecans, per a 2010 Nutrition Journal (NIH) study. Several studies, like this 2000 Journal of AOAC International (NIH) review, even suggest that blueberries contain the highest amount of antioxidants among all commonly consumed fruits and vegetables.

In addition, research from the 2011 Journal of Nutrition Neuroscience and reviewed by NIH, from test-tube and animal studies has shown that the antioxidants in blueberries may delay the decline in brain function that tends to happen with age. Blueberries are packed with anthocyanins which are responsible for their blue hues.

These anthocyanins along with other phenolic compounds help fight against and prevent inflammations. Regular consumption of these bioactive compounds, is known to protect the body against heart disease, reduce the risk of various forms of cancer, per a 2015 International Journal of Molecular Science (NIH) study, and lowering LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure, per a 2016 Journal of Translational Medicine (NIH) study.

Variety Healthy Antioxidant-Rich Beans (Lentils)

Organic Cherries. The deep red hues of cherries are attributed to high quantities of anthocyanins. These pigments play an important role in reducing inflammations and lowering cholesterol. A study showed that antioxidants extracted from cherries can help cure type 2 diabetes. A 2018 Nutrients (NIH) study concluded that cherries,

It’s reasonably strong to indicate that consumption of cherries decreased markers for oxidative stress, inflammation, exercise-induced muscle soreness and loss of strength, and blood pressure acutely after ingesting cherries.

Researchers are now exploring cherries as a possibility of an alternative to artificial sugar, found a 2014 ResearchGate study published in the Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology, and Food services. All with the help of cherry-based sweeteners, canned tart cherries/ sour cherries, and the dried sweet cherries are both known to be equally good.

Tart cherries are also a rich source of melatonin which plays a role in regulating sleep cycles according to a 2012 study published in the European Journal Nutrition (NIH).

Organic Red Raspberries. Raspberries are another go-to food if you are looking at antioxidants. These bio active compounds in these berries are known to play somewhat of a role in killing colon and stomach cancer cells, according to this 2010 Nutrition Research (NIH) study.

A 2016 Journal of Berry Research (NIH) review of five studies concluded that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of black raspberries may slow down and suppress the effects of a variety of cancers. Besides antioxidants, raspberries are a rich source of Vitamin C, manganese, and dietary fiber, per a Self Nutrition Data report.

The polyphenol antioxidants in these berries, especially anthocyanins also help prevent cardiac-related ailments and heart disease according to a study in a 2016 Food Function Journal (NIH) study. Moreover, the antioxidants in raspberries, may reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.

Healthy Antioxidant-Rich Espresso

Fresh Dark Chocolate. We knew you love chocolate just like everyone else! But, did you know it’s really healthy for you and ranks probably number 1 in FRAP scores? Based on the FRAP analysis, dark chocolate has up to 15 mmol of antioxidants per 3.5 ounces. This is even more than blueberries and raspberries, which contain up to 9.2 and 2.3 mmol of antioxidants in the same serving size, respectively found a 2010 Nutrition Journal study reviewed by the NIH.   So, enjoy dark chocolate but don’t overdo it.

Antioxidants present in dark chocolate are known to help to reduce blood pressure, the risk of diabetes, and cardiovascular benefits, according to a 2015 Current Treatment Options for Cardiovascular Medicine (NIH) study. Another study published in the 2001 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and reviewed by the NIH found that dark chocolate may reduce the risk of heart disease by raising blood antioxidant levels, raising levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and preventing “bad” LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized.

Yet another 2010 American Journal of Hypertension (NIH) mega study found the same results. Quoting the results:

The meta-analysis confirms the BP-lowering capacity of flavanol-rich cocoa products in a larger set of trials than previously reported. However, significant statistical heterogeneity across studies could be found, and questions such as the most appropriate dose and the long-term side effect profile warrant further investigation before cocoa products can be recommended as a treatment option in hypertension.

There’s a catch to it, however. Make sure to skip the processed, sugar-rich bars and milk chocolate, and stick to the darker, sugar-free dark chocolate. This is only because sugar and other dietary additives tend to lower the antioxidant content score.

Organic Alfafa Sprouts. This tiny powerhouse is rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that protects against lung cancer and helps maintain healthy skin, hair, nails, gums, glands, bones, and tooth, per a 2018 DoveMed “7 Health Benefits Of Alfalfa Sprouts” study. Alfalfa also has a high content of bioactive plant compounds, found a 2011 Pharmacy Biology (NIH) study.

Healthy Nutrient-Dense Fall Veggies

They include saponins, coumarins, flavonoids, phytosterols, phytoestrogens and alkaloids per an Pharmaceutical Biology study (NIH)It’s also a good source of vitamin E, which may help prevent heart attacks, stokes, and lower the risk of death from bladder cancer.

Numerous studies in monkeys, rabbits and rats have shown that it can lower blood cholesterol levels according to a study published in the 1981 Journal of Clinical Investigation (NIH) study.

It’s ability to lower blood cholesterol in humans has been proven too.  One study of 15 people found that on average, eating 40 grams of alfalfa seeds 3 times per day decreased total cholesterol by 17 percent and “bad” LDL cholesterol by 18 percent after 8 weeks to a 1987 Journal of Atherosclerosis study (NIH).

Organic Broccoli.

Eating a high amount of cruciferous vegetables has been associated with a lower risk of cancer; particularly lung and colon cancer. Broccoli has high levels of glucoraphanin, a compound that is converted into a potent antioxidant called sulforaphane during digestion per a NIH Pub Chem “Sulforaphane” study.

Studies have suggested that glucosinolates or sulforaphane, the sulfur-containing compound that gives cruciferous vegetables their bitter bite, is also what gives them their breast cancer-fighting power, according to a 2011 Clinical Cancer Research (NIH) study.

Test-tube and animal studies indicate that sulforaphane may offer multiple health benefits, including reduced blood sugar, cholesterol levels, oxidative stress and chronic disease development found a study published in a 2014 Nutrition Hospital (NIH) study. An important vitamin in broccoli is folates (B complex), has been found to decrease the risk of breast cancer in women. One NIH Fact Sheet study found that folate,

suggested that folate may have preventive effects against breast cancer risk.

Folates have also shown promise in protecting against colon, stomach, pancreatic, and cervical cancers.

Variety Fresh Healthy Antioxidant-Rich Spices

Organic Kale. Like broccoli, kale is a cruiferous dark-green leafy vegetable containing glucosinolates and anti-cancer activity, according to the Harvard T H Chan School Of Public Health “Kale” study, by preventing the growth and spread of tumors and protecting healthy cells.

Kale can improve your immune system and fight infection due to the high concentration of Vitamin C, which is a vital immune system booster.  Kale is also a great plant-based source of calcium, an important mineral that helps maintain bone health and plays roles in other cellular functions according to study published in 2012 Nutrients study reviewed by NIH.

Dark leafy greens like kale or spinach are rich in the carotenoid antioxidants. These antioxidants form the yellow pigment in the eye and absorb blue wavelengths of light to protect the macula from damage, found a Westmead Institute for Medical Research 2018 “Eating Leafy Greens Could Help Prevent Macular Degeneration” study.

Kale is also rich in potassium, and improves the HDL- to LDL-cholesterol ratio and antioxidant systems, thus reducing the risk of coronary artery disease.

Organic Whole Meal Bread. Whole grains have been a part of the human diet for tens of thousands of years dating back to our early ancestors according to a study published in a 2009 Journal of Science (NIH) study. Many of the plant compounds in whole grains act as antioxidants and these include phytic acid, lignans, ferulic acid, and sulfur compounds according to a 2010 Nutrition Review (NIH) study.

The bran provides most of the high healthy fiber in whole grains and nutrient-rich whole grain breads are particularly high in B complex vitamins including niacin, thiamine, and folate, and minerals, such as zinc, iron, magnesium, and manganese. But what most people aren’t aware of is whole grains abound in antioxidants called polyphenols.

In fact, per a 1994 Critical Review of Food Science and Nutrition (NIH) study, whole grain products have comparable antioxidants per gram to fruits and vegetables, and the same health benefits. One of the biggest health benefits of whole grains is that they lower your risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death worldwide according to the World Health Organization (WHO) 2017 “Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs)” research.

Variety Fresh Healthy Antioxidant-Rich Bean Sprouts

Similarly, a large 10-year study in 17,424 adults observed that those who ate the highest proportion of whole grains in relation to their carb intake had a 47 percent lower risk of heart disease, found a 2016 study published in the Journal of Nutrition Metabolism Cardiovascular Disease (NIH).

In an mega-analysis of 6 studies in nearly 250,000 people, those eating the most whole grains had a 14 percent lower risk of stroke than those eating the fewest, found a 2015 International Journal of Clinical Experienced Medicine (NIH) review. In one study, women who ate the most whole grains were least likely to die from inflammation-related chronic conditions found a study published in the 2007 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (NIH) study.

Organic Beans. (take your pick) Lentils also provide antioxidants such as Vitamin A and C, which bind with and destroy free radicals, reducing oxidative damage to cells. Lentils also have a high content of tannins, phytochemicals and polyphenols that prevent cancer growth. Quoting the 2017 International Journal of Molecular Science (NIH) study,

Consumption of lentil seeds reduces the incidence of various cancers including colon, thyroid, liver, breast and prostate.

There are significant amounts of folate and magnesium for heart health, and also rich in plant protein, to support growth and development, making them a good addition to any diet. Lentils are high in dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber encourages regular bowel movement and prevents constipation and helps prevent colon cancer, per a 2018 Mayo Clinic “Dietary Fiber: Essential For a Healthy Diet” study.

While soluble fiber reduces the risk of heart disease and regulates blood sugar for people with diabetes. Some beans such as pinto beans contain a particular antioxidant called kaempferol per a 2008 study published in the journal of Food Chemistry reviewed by NIH. This antioxidant has been linked to impressive health benefits, such as reduced chronic inflammation and suppressed cancer growth.

Healthy Nutrient Dense Foods For Sustained Energy

Several animal studies, like one published in the 2016 Journal of Nutrition Biochemistry study reviewed by the NIH, have found that kaempferol may suppress the growth of cancers in the breast, bladder, kidneys and lungs.

Organic Espresso. Espresso contains antioxidants which aid in the enhancement of health by helping boost the immune system, improves long term memory, enhances brain function, boost weight loss due to reducing food cravings, the thermogenic effect of caffeine which also burns calories, and helps reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

One study in 489,706 people found that those who drank 4–5 cups of coffee per day had a 15 percent lower risk of colorectal cancer found a 2012 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (NIH).

A number of studies indicate that caffeine can specifically increase fat burning by as much as 10 percent in obese individuals and 29 percent in lean people according to a 2004 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (NIH).  Some studies also show that coffee drinkers have a 20 percent lower risk of stroke in the Japanese population according to a 2013 study in Stroke and reviewed by the NIH. In two very large studies, drinking coffee was associated with a 20 percent reduced risk of death in men and a 26 percent decreased risk of death in women, over 18–24 years, found a 2008 study published in the Annual of Internal Medicine (NIH) study.

A 2013 Antioxidants (Basel) NIH-reviewed study confirmed that natural coffee beans contain some very powerful antioxidants, but roasting reduces their potency. However, quoting the study,

On the other hand, in the process of roasting such polymeric compounds as melanoidins (which are potent antioxidants) and other compounds are formed.

Adding cream or sugar to espresso reduces the antioxidant activity.

Healthy Antioxidant-Rich Nutrient-Dense Peruvian Maca

Organic Peruvian Maca.  Peruvian Maca is another vegetable that can be added to the list of Foods High For Antioxidants because of natural antioxidants such as glutathione and is effective in reducing free radical damage, according to a 2017 Toxicological Mechanical Methods (NIH) study.

In addition to the antioxidant activity, it has all the micro-nutrients, as well, such as amino acids, omega 3 fatty acids, full range of vitamins and minerals, anti-inflammatories, and a complete plant protein. P Maca contains flavonoids, which are thought to improve mood and reduce anxiety, and lower blood pressure.

A 2002 Elsevier “Antioxidant Activity of the Cruciferous Vegetable Maca (Lepidium meyenii) study also confirmed the antioxidant effectiveness of Maca against oxidative stress. Learn more about P Maca, including documented studies on benefits, by reading “Benefits In Maca” and “What Is In Maca Root?“. P Maca makes an incredible nutrient-dense antioxidant smoothie with blueberries. Check it out!

Other Healthy Tips

Buy your antioxidant foods fresh as possible either from a private organic farmer or a specialty market that sells certified organic foods, or through links on this site. The reason why buying fresh is so important is that food oxidizes very quickly once it leaves the plant and stops growing. All foods begins to breakdown and can lose up to an average 50 per cent of their nutritional value, and it’s health benefits, if not consumed rather quickly, according to a University Of California Davis 2007 study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

Healthy Antioxidant-Rich Blueberry Maca Smoothie

A much better healthy option in guaranteeing freshness is to plant your own backyard garden. Yes, that’s right, you can’t imagine the joy and satisfaction of walking out your back door, picking a basket full of fresh veggies and fruits right off of the plants and vines, for you and your family to eat that day.

The importance of eating certified organically-grown foods can not be stressed enough! Conventional farming uses chemical fertilizers, additives, and pesticides in growing food, and studies, such as this World Health Organization 2018 “Pesticides In Food” review, have confirmed there are residues in and on the food even after it’s washed, increasing the risks of causing health issues.  Organic foods are produced virtually without chemical fertilizers or pesticides, making them much safer and healthier for human consumption.

A 2017 Harvard T H Chan School Of Public Health co-authored a “Health Benefits of Organic Food, Farming Outlined in New Report” study for the European Parliament outlining the health benefits of eating organic food and practicing organic agriculture.

Other Antioxidant Foods With Additional Micronutrients (omega 3 fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, etc.)

We’d like to offer you our list of the most nutrient-rich foods we buy and eat, for your review: fresh organic fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, edible flower seeds, and monounsaturated omega 3 oils (extra virgin olive oil) (A); and complex carbs and whole-grains, natural fermented foods, organic herbs and spices, antioxidant drinks and dark chocolate (A); and fresh wild-caught fish and seafood (A); and lean organic grass-fed finished red meat, organic free-range poultry, grass-fed dairy and eggs. (A)

(A)  To purchase the high antioxidant foods discussed in this article or to get studies on other benefits, follow the links.

We hope you found this information on Foods High For Antioxidants helpful. Are you now convinced of the importance of you and your family eating fresh, as possible, certified organic high-antioxidant foods? Please leave your questions and comments below.

(1) What’s Up Dude Video

(2) Renown Health Video

(3) Amphoteric Video