Antioxidant rich foods should make up a large part of your diet. That’s because antioxidants are powerful plant compounds that fight the oxidative damage caused by free radicals, which can lead to heart disease, cancer and other scary health conditions. You can’t really avoid free radicals, but loading your meal plan with lots and lots of antioxidant rich foods can help fight the damage and keep you healthy and looking great.
1. Red Beans
Often the color of an item indicates that it’s one of the antioxidant rich foods you should be eating as often as possible. Fortunately, beans are really easy to work with because they’re simple to prepare and super versatile. Add beans to your next batch of vegetable soup or mix them with ground beef for tacos or burritos. You can also boil up a batch, mash them with some olive oil and garlic and serve them as a delicious side dish. Of course, you can’t go wrong with red beans and rice either.
Tomatoes are most well-known for their lycopene content. This is an antioxidant that’s especially potent for fighting prostate cancer. Tomatoes also have vitamins A and C, both of which also have antioxidant properties. Add tomatoes to a salad or slice them for a sandwich. Cooked tomatoes also work, so load up on pasta sauce to reap the benefits.
Blueberries may be one of the foods highest in antioxidants. Their deep blue hue lets you know they’re great for fighting free radical damage and protecting your health. Fresh blueberries are perfect for adding to cereal or oatmeal or just eating by the handful. If you can’t find them fresh, grab a bag of frozen blueberries and toss them into a smoothie or a batch of pancakes.
They look kind of intimidating sitting there on the grocery store shelves, but artichokes are actually simple to prepare and taste great too. On top of all that, they’re a great source of antioxidants, including Vitamin C. My favorite way to prepare them is simply to halve the artichokes, brush with olive oil and grill. Pull the leaves off, dip them in garlic butter and scrape the flesh off with your teeth.
They don’t get as much hype as some of the other antioxidant rich foods, but peaches contain lutein, an antioxidant that plays a role in your vision, heart health and skin. Peaches are the perfect summertime snack, but they’re also great sliced and mixed into oatmeal or added to your favorite pie or cobbler recipe.
6. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers contain three antioxidants – vitamins A, C and E – all in one vegetable! Combined, these nutrients protect you from free radical damage while also boosting your immunity and keeping your skin looking healthy and beautiful. Add bell peppers to a salad or a burger. Chop them and add to soup or stew. Or make my all-time favorite pepper recipe – chicken fajitas. Top them with avocado and tomatoes for even more antioxidants.
These little gems are rich in anthocyanins, which are a type of antioxidant that can help fight cancer. Adding them to your meal plan can protect your health and give you something yummy to nibble on. Blackberries make a delicious snack, but you can also put them in smoothies or use them to make fruit sauce for waffles.
What’s your favorite food on this list? Did you know it was so good for you?