31 Antioxidant-Rich Foods to Fight Free Radical Damage

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31 Antioxidant-Rich Foods- to fight free radical damage.

We’ve known all along that eating fruits and vegetables is good for you, and science is now proving this to be true in some pretty incredible ways. If you needed impressive sounding reasons to get your five to seven servings a day, then consuming foods high in antioxidants will help battle the damage done by free radicals. Since it’s hard to stop the factors that go into free radical production, it’s easier to eat right to help your body fend them off.


1. Broccoli

Broccoli is often listed as a superfood and it’s no wonder since it has plenty of antioxidants to boast about. In addition to a broad assortment of vitamins and minerals, broccoli also has good fiber levels and a respectable amount of protein from a vegetable source. Broccoli makes a great side dish all by itself, and also is included in plenty of healthy recipes for main dishes. The more research that is done on broccoli, the more healthy it is determined to be.

Most notable antioxidant: Sulforaphane


2. Apricots

Apricots are a fruit that often goes overlooked in the produce section, but it’s time to start adding it to the cart more often. You’re getting a nice dose of both vitamin A and vitamin C, but what’s most impressive about apricots is their lycopene content. This is the same antioxidant that consistently makes the news in relation to tomatoes. The color of apricots is the clue that it contains it, and while it might not contain as much as tomatoes it’s still worth adding to your regular fruit lineup.

Most notable antioxidant: Lycopene

3. Raspberries

Raspberries are one of the best berries to eat for their antioxidant value. They are exceptionally high in phenols and anthocyanins that have been attributed to having anti-cancer benefits. They can also be used in an anti-inflammatory diet as a way to curb symptoms caused by inflammation. It’s best to buy organic raspberries, as the pesticides and other chemicals used on conventional raspberries will counteract and negate the antioxidant content by introducing more free radicals into your body.

Most notable antioxidant: Ellagitannins

4. Cherries

Blueberries are often credited as a fruit with one of the highest levels of antioxidants per ounce. But cherries rank nearly as high and should be thought of just as highly. They contain phytonutrients in a form that makes it so the body can more easily absorb it. Buy organic cherries whenever possible, and eat them raw for the best results. You can also drink cherry juice for the same benefits. You’ll get some benefits from cooking or baking cherries in a recipe, but the amount will be depleted from the cooking process.

Most notable antioxidant: Anthocyanins

watermelon and antioxidants

5. Watermelon

The red color of watermelon is a tip off to its antioxidant content, and this is one summertime treat that you’ll be happy to learn has some sizable antioxidant content. The same antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color, lycopene, is what makes watermelon such a smart and cooling snack. You’ll also get vitamins and minerals in each serving, as well as fiber. As the name implies, watermelon also has a high water content, so it can help keep you hydrated, which is important for skin and digestive health.

Most notable antioxidant: Lycopene

6. Artichokes

Artichokes contain a fantastic amount of antioxidants, and rank just as high as some fruits popular for their antioxidant value, like raspberries and blueberries. It matters how you eat your artichokes, and relying on something like spinach artichoke dip might not be the best way to go, even though both foods are high in antioxidants. Consider grilling your artichokes, or going with a larger, meatier Roman-style artichokes that contain more of the stem. They make great salad toppers, and if you eat them on a kale or spinach salad you’re getting tons of antioxidants in one meal.

Most notable antioxidant: Silymarin

7. Oranges

The notorious amounts of vitamin C in oranges and orange juice is what causes them to rank on our list. Vitamin C is an antioxidant known for boosting the immune system, so much so that there are vitamin C supplements that food companies promote as something to take when you feel a cold coming on. A better strategy is to make sure you’re getting the proper amount on a daily basis by eating oranges and other foods high in vitamin C. Oranges make a great midday pick-me-up and can also be used as a carbohydrate side to balance a meal.

Most notable antioxidant: Vitamin C

8. Spinach

Spinach is well-known for being a powerhouse of nutrients, as well as containing excellent amounts of fiber and protein. It has plenty of antioxidants as well, with beta-carotene to help not only your eyesight but also fending off damage done by free radicals. Spinach is the base ingredient to many green smoothies, and also makes a great foundation for a salad. If you have trouble eating spinach because you don’t like the taste, try using in a recipe that has other ingredients and seasonings to make it taste better.

Most notable antioxidant: Beta-carotene

9. Cranberries

If you only eat cranberries during the holidays, it’s time to give them a chance to impress you during the rest of the year. They contain a whopping amount of antioxidants, and are a pretty versatile food to cook with and prepare. Try to avoid eating dried cranberries that have a lot of added sugar. Sugar can form free radicals in the body, so it would be counterproductive to eat a food for its antioxidant value if it contains too much sugar. The tart taste of cranberries can be offset with other fruits and berries that are a bit sweeter and will help to balance it out.

P.S. Take a look at the 5 veggies that boost female metabolism and burn off lower belly fat.

Users Comments:

  • sam

    Thanks for the info. Never realized there were so many types of antioxidants-

  • Patrick

    Thanks for the reminders – don’t forget apricot kernals contain vitamin B17.

  • Natasha Parks

    Thanks for all your useful information.

  • malo

    Great info ,thanks a lot .surprisingly ,I had already included most of these in my daily diet .

  • Zharkynai

    Thank you. But how about beetroot?

  • JarJar

    A certain person who had riches far behond the normal mortal and was a fruit terrain died of cancer, live for today, don’t eat more calories then you burn and nature will do the rest.
    The fitness & nutritional business empire makes billions of pounds promoting pointless diets, fads and rubbish.
    The formula to follow which doesn’t cost anything
    Find your daily calorie intake and don’t eat over that….
    if you want to add a little weight then consume a little more, loose weight eat a little less ????????????????

    • Pennywise

      There’s a lot more to being healthy than just being ‘at the right weight’. You could conceivably consume your needed calorie intake for the day by eating just chocolate or cake.

  • Peterroy

    One of the best antioxidants is the Mangosteen Fruit. Nutrients called Xanthones are most prevalent in the mangosteen These Xanthones strengthen the cell walls, help fight against loose radicals and prevent infections from taking place. This process in turn enhances the immune system of the body and aids the metabolic activity. Xanthones may also help people maintain flexible joints and keep lungs healthy. The same anti-inflammatory benefits also contribute to reducing the problems associated with allergies. With Mangosteen Fruit Powder you get a concentrated amount without all the work of processing fresh fruit yourself and it’s great in smoothies. See royaltropics.com.

  • Pennywise

    Hi. You’ve mentioned a few things to buy organic. But why is there no mention of this amongst some of the other worst offenders for pesticides – including spinach, strawberries and bell peppers.

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