​The Most Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Antioxidants play an important role in promoting overall health and are especially important for combatting free radicals. Free radicals break down cells, which can lead to numerous health issues. The FRAP (ferric reducing ability of plasma) test measures the antioxidant levels in foods. The following foods have been shown to have the highest level of antioxidants.

  • Blueberries are rich in anthocyanins and other antioxidants, and are considered to be one of the best fruit sources of antioxidants. They're low in calories and can be eaten as is or added to cereal, smoothies, or yogurt.
  • Artichokes aren't just a great source of antioxidants, but they're high in fiber and minerals as well. They're rich in the antioxidant chlorogenic acid, which may support healthy blood sugar and heart health. 
    • Note: Frying the artichokes can diminish their antioxidant level. Boiling raises the antioxidant level by eight times, and steaming actually increases it by 15 times.
  • Raspberries are packed with antioxidants, and have plenty of vitamin C and fiber. They're also a great source of anthocyanins.
  • Dark Chocolate has more antioxidants than blueberries and raspberries, according to the FRAP test. The antioxidants in dark chocolate have also been shown to promote heart health. The darker the chocolate, the more antioxidants it contains.
  • Kale is not only rich in antioxidants but also vitamins AC, and K. It's a great source of plant-based calcium, and it may be one of the healthiest greens we can consume. Add kale to crockpot dishes in the last hour of cooking, or put it into a smoothie. We can also mix it with lettuce for a fiber-rich salad. Some even bake their own kale chips for snacking.
  • Beets contain antioxidants called betalains that have been shown to have notable health benefits. They're also a great source of ironpotassiumfolate, and fiber. We can buy prepared beets in the produce section of most grocery stores. They're great added into salads or served as a side dish dressed with goat cheese, olive oil, and lemon juice. We can even shave raw beets and mix them in with a cabbage slaw.

Eating foods rich in antioxidants protect the body from free radicals that can lead to oxidative stress.