10 Best Fruits and Vegetables High in Antioxidants
We all know the key to a well-balanced healthy lifestyle really all comes down to what you eat, and by eating a diet that is full of nutritious foods will help you not only feel better but look better too! There are so many types of foods you can eat that will supply you with nutrients as well as antioxidants but it is known that fruits and vegetables hold the most nutritious antioxidants.
Many people have a hard time incorporating fruits and vegetables into their meals because well they are known to be “boring” or may not be your favorite thing to eat. But there are so many new and yummy fun easy ways to get your fruit and veggies and enjoy them at the same time!
What is an Antioxidant?
Antioxidants are naturally found in many foods. An antioxidant can be:
- A vitamin such as vitamins A, C or E
- Plant chemicals like flavonoids and carotenoids
- A mineral such as selenium
Antioxidants protect your body’s cells from damage. Cell damage happens naturally as you age but, It can also happen when you are exposed to things like pollution or cigarette smoke. Cell damage can lead to common diseases like heart disease and diabetes. A diet rich in antioxidants can help lower your risk of these diseases.
What Foods are High in Antioxidants?
Vegetables, fruit, whole grain bread, pasta and cereal, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, garlic, and green tea all have antioxidants. But, it is known that the best way to get antioxidants is by eating the correct nutritional amount of fruits and vegetables.
10 Super Fruits and Veggies you should be eating that contain Antioxidants
Berries are a great way to get antioxidants berries such as strawberries and blueberries are very high in antioxidants. Strawberries are among the best antioxidant-rich foods list, especially since they can be very good for eye health and maintaining healthy skin. This fruit reduces the bad cholesterol and can contribute to heart health. There was a study done and they found that strawberries boost blood antioxidant levels, and can help prevent chronic diseases. Strawberries also have a large concentration of phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids known to have antioxidant properties. At a cellular level, they fight free radical production, and therefore, lower the risk from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and dementia.
Grapes are an amazing little fruit and they contain many powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols, which may slow or prevent many types of cancer, including esophageal, lung, mouth, and pharynx, endometrial, pancreatic, and prostate as well as colon cancer. The resveratrol found in red wine famous for heart health is a type of polyphenol found in the skins of red grapes.
What nutrient do avocados not have, not only do they help battle stubborn belly fat but fresh avocados contain lycopene and beta-carotene, which are important carotenoid antioxidants. The highest concentration of these antioxidants is located in the dark green flesh closest to the peel, according to the California Avocado Commission. The antioxidants found in avocados are known to help reduce cell damage.
Not only is watermelon delicious but by eating watermelon it can help protect your body against Cancer. Watermelon is an excellent source of the strong antioxidant vitamin C as well as other antioxidants; watermelon can help combat the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer. Lycopene intake has been linked with a decreased risk of prostate cancer prevention in several studies
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, couldn’t be truer! Apples have been found to have very strong antioxidant activity, inhibit cancer cell proliferation, decrease lipid oxidation, and lower cholesterol. Apples contain a variety of phytochemicals, including quercetin, catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid, all of which are strong antioxidants.
Not only is coconut one of my favorite fruits but it also has a long list of health benefits for your body! Coconuts have very strong antioxidant properties that can lower cholesterol; Improve digestion, Stabilize glucose levels, Fight off viruses, Build cells, Regulate hormones Increase thyroid production, Lose weight, Increase metabolism, Fight infections, Stave off memory loss, and even kill bacteria.
No wonder Popeye ate so much Spinach! The vegetable’s dark green leaves contain many valuable nutrients, especially the antioxidant carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, manganese, and magnesium. It is a source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6.
8. Leafy Greens
Salad greens, kale and spinach are rich in vitamins A, C, E and K, and broccoli, bok choy and mustard are also rich in many of the B-vitamins. These vegetables also contain an abundance of carotenoids antioxidants that are known to protect cells and play roles in blocking the early stages of cancer.
Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. It is a very good source of choline, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, and biotin. Additionally, it is a good source of vitamin B2, protein, vitamin B1, niacin, and magnesium.
Eggplant is a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B1, and copper. It is also a good source of manganese, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, folate, and vitamin K and Antioxidants. Eggplant also contains phytonutrients such as nasunin and chlorogenic acid.
10 Yummy Recipes That are Antioxidant Rich
Strawberry Apricot Smoothie Bowl
Strawberries are among the number one source of antioxidants from fruit they not only help with protecting your eyesight but also maintain healthy skin. Give this delicious twist on a smoothie a try!
- 2 ripe apricots, pitted
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, halved
- 1/4 cup rolled oats, uncooked
- 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tsp. raw honey
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- Optional toppings: sliced bananas, strawberries, apricot, granola, and chia seeds
- Add the apricot, frozen bananas, strawberries, oats, almond milk, honey and cinnamon to a blender.
- Puree until smooth.
- Top with toppings of your choice.
Autumn Salad with Grapes and Cheese
Eating grapes will get a whole lot more colorful with this delicious and healthy recipe, try adding grapes to your salad! Grapes provide many antioxidants and help prevent many types of cancer, including esophageal, lung, mouth, and pharynx, endometrial, pancreatic, and prostate as well as colon cancer.
- ½ c. oil & vinegar salad dressing
- 2 tbsp. pancake syrup
- 8 c. mixed baby salad greens (from a 10-oz container)
- ½ c. coarsely chopped walnuts (toasted if desired)
- 1½ c. red seedless grapes
- 1 package Apple, Cranberry & Cinnamon Boursin cheese spread
- Whisk dressing and syrup in large bowl then add in the greens and walnuts then toss.
- Arrange on 8 serving plates then add grapes and crumble cheese over top.
Mean Green Buddha Bowl
We all know that avocados are truly amazing and have many health benefits such as helping with fighting belly fat, but it also contains many great antioxidants as well. Buddha bowls, sometimes referred to as glory or hippie bowls, are hearty, filling dishes made of various greens, raw or roasted veggies, beans and a healthy grain like quinoa or brown rice. Give this tasty Buddha Bowl loaded with antioxidant avocados a try!
- 2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
- 2 heads Swiss chard
- 1 cup shelled edamame
- 1 avocado
- 3/4 cup salsa Verde (store-bought or homemade)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 4 eggs, optional
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spread the broccoli florets out on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Then salt and pepper liberally. Roast for 15-20 minutes until crusty around the edges
- Meanwhile, pull the leaves off the swiss chard and place them in a large pot. Add 1/4 cup water and salt and pepper liberally. Cover and turn on medium heat. Allow the swiss chard to wilt, stirring occasionally.
- Place the frozen edamame in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 2-3 minutes, until warmed through.
- Divide the roasted broccoli, wilted Swiss chard, and steamed edamame into four bowls keeping them in separate piles. Slice an avocado, fan the avocado slices over the veggies in each bowl, then spoon salsa over each bowl and then sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Top with a warm fried egg, if desired.
Watermelon Salad with Mint and Crispy Prosciutto
Crunchy, juicy, and tasty watermelon is a great source of vitamin C and contains antioxidants that help fight against cancer. Perfect for a light summer snack this salad is guaranteed to satisfy!
- 4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
- 3 pounds watermelon (including rind)
- 6 radishes, quartered
- 4 scallions, sliced
- ¼ cup fresh mint, torn
- ¼ cup salted peanuts, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Heat oven to 400 f and then arrange prosciutto in a single layer on a baking tray. Bake until crisp 8-10 minutes.
- Trim the rind (the green outer layer) from the watermelon. Cut into bite size triangles, place watermelon into serving dishes and sprinkle with radishes, scallions, mint, and peanuts. Drizzle with lime juice and oil. Sprinkle small amount of salt and pepper to taste.
- Cut up prosciutto and sprinkle over salad!
Apple Spinach Chicken
Apples can do it all, they lower cholesterol and help fight against cancer the apple is one antioxidant loaded fruit! Spinach also contains many beneficial antioxidants as well; this recipe is a double hitter!
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 4 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced
- 6 cups fresh baby spinach or chopped Swiss chard
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, and add to skillet. Cook 5-6 minutes on each side or until well browned. Remove to plate, and keep warm.
- Add next 4 ingredients (through apple slices) to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer, stirring often, 5 minutes. Return chicken and juices to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and the chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes.
- Add spinach to pan, and toss until wilted, about 1 minute. Serve hot.
No Bake Coconut Apricot Balls
Coconuts have very strong antioxidant properties that can lower cholesterol; Improve digestion, Stabilize glucose levels, Fight off viruses, Build cells, Lose weight, Increase metabolism, Fight infections, Stave off memory loss, and even kill bacteria. Coconuts are one of the healthiest fruits here is a quick easy recipe perfect for a on the go snack!
- 1/2 cup dried apricots
- 3 prunes
- 2 tbsp. chia seed, ground
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup fresh coconut or (shredded coconut if to dry add 1 tsp. coconut oil)
- Combine all 5 ingredients in a food processor and pulse until apricots and prunes have broken down [about 1 minute].
- Roll “dough” into balls and place on a clean surface [do not use paper towel like I did for the first batch].
- Pop in the freezer for 4-5 minutes to harden up.
Mega Berry Antioxidant Spinach Salad
Spinach is an excellent source of fiber and mixed with berries such as blueberries which are one of the highest ranked antioxidant fruits, this salad is a perfect healthy snack!
- 4 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach, stems trimmed
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- 8 large strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp. raw honey
- 2 tbsp. spicy brown mustard
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted walnuts
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (about 1 oz), optional
In a large bowl, toss spinach with blueberries and strawberries. In a small bowl, whisk together honey, mustard, vinegar and salt. Drizzle 3/4 dressing over salad, then sprinkle walnuts over top. Serve sprinkled with cheese, if desired, and remaining dressing on the side.
Simple leafy green Smoothie
What’s better than a great smoothie especially a green one! Try adding leafy greens to any of your smoothies and it will boost the amount of antioxidants. Leafy greens contain carotenoids—antioxidants that protect cells and play roles in blocking the early stages of cancer.
- 2 cups of either spinach, kale, romaine, bok choy, swiss chard, collards, or dandelion
- 2 cups of either water, coconut water, coconut milk, or almond milk
- 3 cups of mix banana, mango, berries, orange, avocado, peach, pear, apple, pineapple, grapes
Choose from the list above for the ingredients of your super green antioxidant smoothie. First blend the leafy green and the liquid base together to get rid of chunkiness. Then add fruits and blend again!
Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
Not only does cauliflower help fight stubborn belly fat but it contains high levels of antioxidants as well. Here is a twist on a not so healthy snack spicy buffalo bites.
- 8 cups cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil
- 1 / 4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons buffalo hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Toss with olive oil and salt then Roast the cauliflower add in Buffalo Hot sauce, butter, lemon juice.
- Toss cauliflower and sauce and Roast the cauliflower.
- Then finally Serve with celery, carrots, ranch or blue cheese dressing.
Grilled Eggplant Panini
Eggplant is a great source of fiber and contains many antioxidants and nutrients. Try this yummy sandwich what’s better than cheesy eggplant!
- 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 8 1/2-inch slices eggplant, (about 1 small)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic saltgredients
- 1/3 cup sliced jarred roasted red peppers
- 4 thin slices red onion
- 8 slices whole-grain country bread
- 8 thin slices fresh mozzarella cheese
- Pre heat grill to medium high heat.
- Combine mayo and basil in small bowl. Using 1 tablespoon of oil, lightly brush both sides of eggplant and sprinkle with garlic salt. With the remaining oil brush it on to each slice of bread.
- Grill eggplant for 6 minutes on each side, top with cheese and grill till melted and eggplant is tender. Toast the bread on grill.
- Spread basil mayo on all four slices of bread. Top with cheese eggplant, red peppers, onions, and the remaining slices of bread. Cut in half and enjoy!
Why you should eat foods with Antioxidants?
By adding foods with antioxidants into your diet you’re not only helping your body maintain a well-balanced healthy lifestyle but antioxidants also fight against many diseases. When you add antioxidant rich foods into your diet you are helping protect your body from heart disease. Also you are helping protect your DNA it is proven that people who eat lots of fruits and vegetables have a low risk for some types of cancer. Other ways antioxidants help your body they help reduce the chance of diabetes, also antioxidants protect your sight, and protect against dementia.
Antioxidants are truly amazing and have so many positive healthy characteristics that it can provide to our bodies, and to think that such a powerful disease fighting nutrient can be found in almost all fruits and vegetables. So let’s get your antioxidant rich diet started and incorporate these fruits into your everyday diet!
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