What Are the Best Sources of Natural Antioxidants?

K.C. Bruning

Natural antioxidants can be found in several kinds of foods. Getting at least seven to ten daily servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables each day is one of the best ways to reap the benefits of their properties. Antioxidants can also be found in whole grains and some kinds of nuts and seafood. Though there are specific foods that have higher antioxidant content, eating a balanced, varied diet of fresh foods will usually provide a sufficient amount of the substance.

Berries are a good source of antioxidants.
Berries are a good source of antioxidants.

One way to find the best sources of natural antioxidants is to search out foods with the vitamins and minerals that provide those benefits. Foods with vitamins A, C, and E are all good choices. Antioxidants can also be found in foods with selenium, lutein, and lycopene.

Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have strong antioxidant properties.
Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have strong antioxidant properties.

Fruits and vegetables have some of the most powerful antioxidant properties. Berries, red grapes and other fruits with red or purple skins are particularly beneficial. Broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, and carrots are also high in natural antioxidants.

Flaxseed oil is high in natural antioxidants.
Flaxseed oil is high in natural antioxidants.

Whole grains also have high natural antioxidant properties, primarily because they are high in vitamin E. They are particularly effective in warding of several different kinds of cancers. Good choices include whole grain bread, cereals, and rice.

Soy-based foods like tofu are rich in antioxidants.
Soy-based foods like tofu are rich in antioxidants.

Soy is rich in natural antioxidants which can help to fight cancer and high cholesterol. It can be incorporated into meals with tofu, tempeh, and soy butter. There is also a wide array of beverages and condiments that contain soy.

Salmon fillets are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Salmon fillets are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Foods with high omega-3 content have strong antioxidant properties as well. These include canola, walnut, and flaxseed oils. Some kinds of seafood, such as mackerel and salmon, are rich in omega-3s. The substance can also be found in flaxseed, which may be ground and added to cereal, yogurt, and baked goods.

Spinach and tomatoes are good sources of antioxidants.
Spinach and tomatoes are good sources of antioxidants.

Black tea and garlic are also good sources of antioxidants. Tea can be consumed as a beverage or used as an ingredient in sauces and dressings. In addition to adding flavor to a wide array of dishes, garlic can be roasted and used as a flavorful spread.

Tomatoes are packed with lycopene and vitamin C, two potent antioxidants.
Tomatoes are packed with lycopene and vitamin C, two potent antioxidants.

A diet rich in natural antioxidants also tends to be beneficial to overall health. All of these foods fight excessive absorption of oxygen, which can lead to the production of free radicals that harm the body’s cells and can potentially lead to the growth of tumors. The foods that contain the substance also tend to be good for healthy digestion, immunity, and bone and joint health.

Dark purple berries, as well as blue and red berries, are high in antioxidants.
Dark purple berries, as well as blue and red berries, are high in antioxidants.
Pungent garlic and onions are excellent sources of natural antioxidants and also have anti-inflammatory properties.
Pungent garlic and onions are excellent sources of natural antioxidants and also have anti-inflammatory properties.
Green tea typically has up to 10 times more antioxidant polyphenols than fruits and vegetables.
Green tea typically has up to 10 times more antioxidant polyphenols than fruits and vegetables.

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