“Antioxidant” is one of those words that get tossed around a lot when people talk about healthy eating. We know we’re supposed to get more antioxidants, but we’re not sure what they do or how to add more to our diet.
Antioxidants remove waste products from our cells, which can help delay cell damage. When you’re looking to increase your antioxidant intake, you can do so by adding these top foods to your diet.
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For an easy way to add beneficial antioxidants to your diet, grab a handful of berries. With 13,427 total antioxidants in just one cup, wild blueberries are by far the best option available. Even if you can’t get your hands on wild blueberries, farmed blueberries still offer 9,019 antioxidants in every cup. Red berries, like raspberries and strawberries, give you a good dose of vitamin C, antioxidants, and ellagic acid, which may help protect against cancer.
If you want to fight inflammation the natural way, take a sip of tea. Tea contains two types of antioxidants, anthocyanin and pro anthocyanin, which both help fight inflammation. Additionally, drinking tea also gives you a good dose of catechins, which are antioxidants thought to block cell damage that can lead to cancer. To make your daily cup even more beneficial, opt for green tea to help improve brain function, aid in fat loss, and lower your risk of cancer.
When you’re craving a sweet snack, go for a handful of grapes. Dark-colored grapes, like the red and purple varieties, offer more antioxidants than their green counterparts. One serving of red grapes will give you 2,016 total antioxidants, including some thought to help protect against heart disease and cancer and ones that give your immune system a boost. Plus, drying grapes and turning them into raisins packs in even more antioxidants with 2,490 per serving. Grapes are also a good source of selenium and vitamin C.
Another great way to increase your intake of antioxidants is by adding spinach to your diet. Spinach is a super plant that’s high in calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and E. It’s also loaded with carotenoids, which are antioxidants that promote eye health and help prevent macular degeneration. It’s easy to toss together a salad with spinach to get your daily intake. However, if you don’t like the taste of spinach, it also mixes in great with smoothies.
Nuts are balanced foods that offer healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates, and every nut has different benefits. For example, walnuts are cholesterol-free, low in sodium and sugar, high in omega-3s, and loaded with antioxidants. Pecans are rich in antioxidants, and Brazil nuts are a great source for selenium. Almonds are good for magnesium, vitamin E, and antioxidants that may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Plus, most nuts contain plant sterols and resveratrol, which can help lower cholesterol.
Now that you know the importance of getting more antioxidants in your diet make sure you have all these antioxidant-rich foods in your home so you can reap their benefits.