which foods are high in antioxidants
  • Why Antioxidants Matter
  • How to Maintain High Levels
  • Which Foods Are High In Antioxidants
  • How Can You Tell if a Food is High In Antioxidants – Quick Experiment

Antioxidants.  A term we hear a lot about but don’t always know what the term means or what it means for our health. Every day your body produces something called free radicals from exercise, viral and bacterial infections, poor diet, metabolism, pollution and other toxins, poor sleep and stress. 

Free radicals are oxygen containing molecules with an uneven number of electrons.  The uneven number of electrons leaves the molecules susceptible to react causing oxidation.

Antioxidants are the molecules that neutralize this damage that occurs at the cellular level.  When there is an imbalance between how many free radicals your body produces and the amount of antioxidants your body can use to mop up the stress, the body is susceptible to dis-ease. Maintaining high antioxidant levels in the body is critical.

And it doesn’t take long for these changes to occur.  In fact, the Journal of Biomedical Optics used an argon laser to measure the level of antioxidants in peoples bodies.  Participants were also asked to keep a journal of detailing when they experienced stress, sickness, were tired, what foods they ate, when they stayed up late etc.  Surprisingly, they found that Antioxidant levels can plummet within just two hours of a stressful event.  

All day long we are hit with work stress, relationship stress, exposure to toxins etc., So work dress, Get stressed, stuck in traffic, breathing in exhaust and your body starts using up it’s antioxidant stores  .It takes two hours to lose and up to 3 days to get levels back up.

How can we maintain good antioxidant levels in  the body?

Our modern lifestyle provides access to calories, but deemphasizes the value of plant based foods – most people eat several times a day resulting in prolonged metabolic, oxidative and immune balance that over the longer term can affect immune and repair system functions.  Look to include the following foods packed with antioxidants.

Which foods are high in antioxidants?

Blueberries 

Blackberries

Red leaf lettuce

Kidney beans and other beans

Spices

Appes

Pecans

Dates

Strawberries

Artichokes

Raspberries

Kale

Cabbage

Beets

Spinach

Potatoes

Dark leafy greens

Cauliflower

Walnuts

Don’t Forget the Spices!

Spices are also loaded with antioxidants and can be used to boost the antioxidant load of foods.  Include these in your food preparation:

Spices: cinnamon, oregano, turmeric, cumin, parsley, basil, curry powder, mustard seed, ginger, pepper, chili powder, paprika, garlic, coriander, onion and cardamom.

Herbs: sage, thyme, marjoram, tarragon, peppermint, oregano, savory, basil and dill weed. 

Fun Tip!

What’s an easy trick to find out which foods are high in antioxidants?  Simply cut a food open and leave it on the counter.  Does it turn brown?  Case in point, apples and bananas.  Both turn brown quickly – not a – not a lot of antioxidants in there.

How do you keep your fruit salad from turning brown?  You can add lemon juice which is high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that can keep not only food from oxidizing, but can do the same thing inside our bodies!