Antioxidants are substances that help prevent certain types of cell damage, especially those caused by oxidation.

When certain types of oxygen molecules are allowed to travel freely in the body they cause what is known as oxidative damage which is the formation of free radicals.

Free radicals are very dangerous to the body’s tissues and have been connected to cancer and premature aging. The body uses antioxidants to prevent itself from the damage caused by oxygen.

Oxidative damage plays a major role in disease today and has been linked to health conditions like heart disease, cancer and dementia.

Some of the benefits of consuming antioxidant rich foods include:

  • Slower aging
  • Healthy glowing skin
  • Reduced cancer risk
  • Detoxification support
  • Longer life span

Most fruits, vegetables, and herbs contain antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, flavonoids and lycopene. There is no RDA or Daily Value set for antioxidants.

The levels of antioxidants is evaluated by ORAC Score (oxygen radical absorption capacity) and tests the power of a plant to absorb and eliminate free radicals.

These measurements were developed by the National Institute of Aging and are based on 100 grams of each food or herb.

Top 10 High Antioxidant Foods List

1) Goji berries
25,000 ORAC Score

2) Wild blueberries
14,000 ORAC Score

3) Dark Chocolate
21,000 ORAC Score

4) Pecans
17,000 ORAC Score

5) Artichoke
9,400 ORAC Score

6) Elderberries
14,000 ORAC Score

7) Kidney Beans
8,400 ORAC Score

8) Cranberries
9,500 ORAC Score

9) Blackberries
5,300 ORAC Score

10) Cilantro
5,100 ORAC Score

Antioxidant foods list - Dr.Axe

Other antioxidant rich foods include: pomegranates, strawberries, kale, red wine and wild caught salmon.  Try and consume 2-3 servings daily of these high antioxidant foods for optimal health.

Also, along with food, herbs and essential oils of plants are extremely high in antioxidants.  Here is another list of the herbs and essential oils highest in antioxidants.

Top 10 Antioxidant Herbs List

1) Clove
314,446 ORAC Score

2) Cinnamon
267,537 ORAC Score

3) Oregano
159,277 ORAC Score

4) Turmeric
102,700 ORAC Score

5) Cocoa
80,933 ORAC Score

6) Cumin
76,800 ORAC Score

7) Parsley (dried)
74,349 ORAC Score

8) Basil
67,553 ORAC Score

9) Ginger
28,811 ORAC Score

10) Thyme
27,426 ORAC Score

Antioxidant herbs - Dr.Axe

Other antioxidant rich herbs include garlic, cayenne pepper and green tea.  Try and consume 2-3 servings of these herbs daily.

Top Health Benefits of Antioxidant Foods

Antioxidants For Eyes
The antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene have been shown to have an effect on preventing macular degeneration, or age-related blindness. Lutein and zeaxanthin found in spinach have also been proven to decrease eye related degeneration.

Flavonoid antioxidants found in bilberries and resveratrol found in grape skins have been shown to be especially beneficial at supporting vision.

Antioxidant Benefits For Skin Health
Free radicals formed by oxidative damage speed up the aging process, but antioxidants may help combat this damage. High intakes of vitamin C, beta carotene, and other antioxidants have been connected to a decrease in the appearance of wrinkles and skin dryness.

Vitamin C, specifically, is a powerful antioxidant which can help reduce the effect of oxidative damage caused by pollution, stress, or poor diet.

Stroke and Heart Disease
Since antioxidants help prevent against free radical damage, they may also protect against heart disease and stroke. At this point, the data does not show that all antioxidants are effective to protect against heart disease, but some, such as vitamin C may be.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition featured a study that found those with high levels of vitamin C in their blood had almost a 50% decreased risk of stroke.

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