Antioxidants are substances that help protect the body, and our cells, against damaging molecules called free radicals.
Free radicals are created from normal cellular processes and inflammation in the body. But our body also creates free radicals when we’re exposed to pollution, unhealthy eating, stress, toxins, and even cigarette smoke (even if it’s secondhand smoke) — things we’re all exposed to everyday. Even exercise, which is good for you, creates free radicals in the body.
Too many free radicals in the body, called oxidative stress, may increase the risk of diseases like heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
Enter antioxidants. Antioxidants work by neutralizing these free radicals so they cause less harm to the body. While our body has its own antioxidant system to protect us against free radicals, it may not have enough to protect against everything we’re exposed to daily.
That’s where diet comes in.
Plant-based foods are super high in antioxidants. That’s because antioxidants in plants, called phytochemicals, help protect them from things that can harm them like intense sunlight, temperature, and drought.
8 Top Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Antioxidants are particularly abundant in colorful plant-based foods like blueberries, raspberries, cherries, tomatoes, and watermelon.
In fact, the deeper the color of a fruit or veggie, the more antioxidants it contains. And this is in addition to all the other good stuff found in fruits and vegetables, including vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
This is just one reason eating plenty of a variety of fruits and vegetables is so important for your health.
Here are the top 8 antioxidant-rich plant-based foods to add to your diet today.
2. Spirulina. The ancient Aztecs reportedly consumed this blue-green algae for its health benefits. It’s easily digested and super high in proteins, vitamins, minerals, and yes, antioxidants. Chlorophyll is a top antioxidant in spirulina though there are many others. It’s been associated with supporting of our endocrine system — which is the system that all our hormones are part of.
3. Kale. Kale is a leafy green that’s high in antioxidants. Spinach is another. Both foods are known to be loaded with nutrients, including the antioxidant vitamin C. Both also contain many antioxidants, including quercetin, which studies suggest may help reduce the risk of diseases like osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Both are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that may support eye health.
5. Red grapes. Red grapes, and other deep purple fruits and veggies, contain the antioxidant resveratrol. Resveratrol may help reduce the risk of diseases including cardiovascular disease, liver disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
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6. Cranberries. These deep red fruits, along with cherries, are some of the richest in a broad range of antioxidants called Phenols, which include some of the most beneficial antioxidants called Flavanoids.
7. Cacao. While this plant-based superfood doesn’t classify as “brightly colored,” its rich deep brown color is what conveys powerful antioxidant protection. It’s the cacao tree that produces cacao, used to make cocoa for chocolate. That’s why dark chocolate, which contains the highest concentrations of cacao (look for a concentration of 70% or higher), is extremely high in antioxidants called flavanols. Scientists have found that cacao may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and brain-related disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
8. Green tea. This antioxidant powerhouse, also sometimes referred to as matcha, is high in antioxidants called polyphenols. Researchers have linked these antioxidants in green tea to supporting heart health and healthy blood glucose levels.
If you’re like most of us, you may find it hard to get all these antioxidants into your diet every day. That’s why we created Earthy Andy Superfood Paradise.
Just one scoop every day gives you the antioxidant equivalent of 8 servings of fruits and veggies.
That’s because we pack kale, blueberries, spirulina, papayas, raspberries, cranberries, carrots, and more into this delicious antioxidant elixir.
We created it because we believe in wellness — and want to help you live healthier every day. Try it. We know you’ll love it. In fact, we’re scooping some into water right now for our daily dose!