Other antioxidants include:
Why You Need Antioxidants
Antioxidants may protect your body against free radicals, which are destructive molecules, usually made of oxygen, made as byproducts of natural processes in the body.
Free radicals can build up in your cells and cause damage to other molecules, increasing your risk of cancer and other diseases. Antioxidants may help protect cells against this damage. To balance free radicals and antioxidants in your body, you need to consume 8-11,000 antioxidant units per day.
However, research suggests that when it comes to fighting disease, antioxidants are not as powerful as some advertisers claim.
Researchers found that vitamin E and other antioxidants didn't protect against cancer or heart disease. Other studies showed that taking beta-carotene supplements may have cognitive benefits in the long term, but also raises the risk of lung cancer in people who smoke.
However, a diet high in fruits and vegetables is healthy for many other reasons. Foods with antioxidants are typically:
Foods With Antioxidants
The top fruit sources of antioxidants are blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cranberries. Just one cup of wild blueberries contains 13,427 total antioxidants.
- Colorful Vegetables
Many red, orange, deep yellow, and dark green vegetables contain the antioxidant carotene. Carotene-rich produce includes:
Nuts are a rich source of antioxidants. Walnuts, pecans, and chestnuts have the highest amount of antioxidants of all tree nuts. Walnuts contain over 20 millimoles (mmol) antioxidants per 100 grams. Although they are technically a legume, peanuts are also high in antioxidants.
- Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate comes from the seeds of cacao pods, which are roasted into cocoa beans. Cocoa is a source of antioxidants because it contains flavanols, which may help protect the heart. Dark chocolate contains more antioxidants than milk chocolate and white chocolate because it has a higher concentration of cocoa solids and less cocoa butter, milk, sugar, and oil.
- Red Wine
Red wine contains the antioxidant resveratrol, which comes from the skin of red grapes. It is also found in peanuts and berries. Evidence suggests that resveratrol can destroy cancer cells and increase the effectiveness of cancer treatments, although the data isn't conclusive.
Coffee beans contain a number of antioxidants, including: