Written by Hannah Marchese
If you’re interested in health, wellness, and all the nutrients your body needs to function, you’ve more than likely heard about antioxidants.
In fact, it seems like this word is everywhere nowadays. From snacks and foods to skincare products, the health world is obsessed with antioxidants. The good news is, it’s not just a gimmick.
Antioxidants really are essential and just as impressive as people make them out to be. It’s just important to know what they are and what they do, rather than just obsessing over the hype.
But trust us, once you get all the info you need on antioxidants, you’ll be obsessed (for real).
Antioxidants help to protect our body, but we’ll get into the nitty-gritty in just a second. For now, let’s just accept the fact that the antioxidant train is here, and it’s time to hop on board.
Ready to learn all about antioxidants? Let’s start by understanding what they are. Then, we’ll get into the good (and yummy) stuff: six foods that are high in antioxidants.
Let’s dive right in!
What Exactly Are Antioxidants?
Okay, we’ve hyped antioxidants up quite a bit; but what exactly are they? We know they’re good for us (duh, otherwise we wouldn’t be talking so much about them). Here’s the science behind antioxidants and why they’re so important for our bodies and overall health.
Antioxidants are compounds that work to fend off free radicals and free radical damage within your body. Free radicals are tricky because they are needed to a certain extent. However, when their levels become too high, this can lead to illness and other destructive issues.
That’s why your body produces antioxidants and also needs antioxidant boosts from food. These antioxidants are used to combat the excess levels of free radicals, essentially keeping them in check.
When normal amounts of free radicals are present, they can help fight off infections. When their levels become too high, your body enters a state of oxidative stress.
Various factors cause oxidative stress, including pollution, smoking, excessive alcohol, radiation, high blood sugar levels, and antioxidant deficiency. Too much oxidative stress for long periods of time can have adverse effects on your body.
This is just a brief overview of what antioxidants are and what they can do for you. There’s a ton more information out there, and it’s definitely worth checking out.
For now, all you really need to know are the basics we covered. Now, let’s get to the good stuff; food! Antioxidants can be found in so many different foods.
To keep it simple, let’s learn about six of the best antioxidant-packed foods.
Delicious and Sweet Berries
Delicious and juicy fruits are on the top of the list for foods that are packed with antioxidants. The great news is that most fruits contain antioxidants, so you don’t have to worry about being picky when it comes to the fruits you eat.
However, berries contain the highest amounts of antioxidants, so if you’re looking to get an antioxidant boost through fruit, berries are your best bet.
Blueberries are the queen of antioxidant-packed fruits. They’re great for various reasons; they’re low in calories, and some studies suggest that they contain the highest amount of antioxidants out of almost any fruit. They also contain an antioxidant called anthocyanin, which is great for your health.
This red fruit is packed with antioxidants. They’re arguably the most popular berry around, and for a good reason. They are high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Just like blueberries, they are also known to contain anthocyanin.
This red fruit is small but mighty, especially where antioxidants are concerned. Besides antioxidants, they also contain vitamin C, fiber, and manganese. Just like the other berries on this list, they contain anthocyanin.
If you follow superfoods at all, you’ve probably heard of goji berries. These dried and tangy berries are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This particular berry has been an essential part of Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years!
We know what you’re thinking: thank god chocolate is on this list. Trust us, that’s what we said, too. You can now eat your dark chocolate knowing you’re doing something good for your body.
One of the reasons it has to be dark chocolate specifically (sorry, milk chocolate lovers) is because dark chocolate contains more cocoa, more minerals, and more antioxidants due to the extra cocoa.
As if all of this wasn’t good enough news, here’s the real kicker: dark chocolate has even more antioxidants than berries. Your favorite chocolatey treat is healthier for you than fruit when it comes to antioxidant levels.
Dark chocolate contains 15 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams, whereas blueberries contain 9.2 mmol, and raspberries contain 2.3 mmol per 100 grams.
Kalumi BEAUTYfood Cocoa Crunch Bars
In an indulgent mood, but don’t necessarily feel like reaching for a bar of chocolate? That’s where Kalumi comes in. Our Cocoa Crunch bar is like a rich, chocolatey brownie packed with delicious and nutritious ingredients. For an antioxidant boost, our bars contain cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and cacao nibs.
They also contain MCT oil, sweet potato (packed full of vitamin A), almond butter, eight grams of marine collagen, and 12 grams of protein. If a chocolate craving hits, grab a Kalumi bar and dig in.
You had to know kale was going to be on this list. Seriously, is there anything kale can’t do? It seems like it’s the ultimate good-for-you food. It’s definitely one of the most nutritious leafy vegetables, like spinach, collard greens, and broccoli.
Kale is packed with vitamins, including vitamin K, A, and C. Its antioxidant content is just an added bonus!
Pro Tip: Red kale contains even more antioxidants than green kale (almost double!).
Sweet potatoes are high in an antioxidant called beta-carotene. When you consume beta-carotene, it is converted into vitamin A within the body.
Here’s a crazy nutritional fact for you: 200 grams of sweet potatoes contain a whopping 769% of your daily value for vitamin A. If you’re looking for a major vitamin A boost, sweet potatoes are going to be your new best friend.
You probably didn’t see this one coming. Not only are artichokes delicious, but they’re also highly nutritious. They are high in dietary fiber, minerals, and antioxidants.
They are known for containing an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid. Artichokes contain 4.7 mmol of antioxidants per 100 grams. Next time you’re in the mood for an antioxidant-rich vegetable, try cooking some artichokes!
Time to swap out your daily coffee for a delicious and antioxidant-packed alternative. It contains catechin, which is a powerful antioxidant that is great for your cells. It’s also beneficial for fending off free radicals.
Green Tea also contains polyphenols, which have a variety of health benefits for your body. It might be worth it to switch over to green tea! Even a matcha latte contains antioxidants from green tea.
It’s Easy To Eat Antioxidants Daily
By now, you’re pretty much an expert on all things antioxidant-related. You know the ins and outs of how they work and what they can do for your body and overall health. The point is, antioxidants are extremely good for you. They can help protect your body from oxidative stress that leads to a long list of health issues, not to mention wrinkles and premature aging.
The good news is, there are so many different foods that contain antioxidants. Whether you love fruit, vegetables, or dark chocolate, you can boost your antioxidant intake each day through the foods you love to eat. Not to mention, foods rich in vitamin E, carotenoids, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, folate, potassium, selenium, and antioxidant supplements.
Don’t forget to include superfoods like beans like pinto beans, nuts like almonds, carrots, cranberries, tomatoes, whole grains, apricots, mango, watermelon, blackberries, cantaloupe, prunes, black plums, papaya, peas, lentils, peaches, grapefruit, brussels sprouts, and more.
If you want to make things easy (and delicious), grab a Kalumi BEAUTYfood bar, and you’re good to go!. All our bars contain MCT oil, sweet potato, and cocoa butter, which are three great sources of antioxidants.
Let us know which one is your favorite and which antioxidant-rich foods you love to eat!
The total antioxidant content of more than 3100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs, and supplements used worldwide | NCBI
Review on the nutritional composition of orange‐fleshed sweet potato and its role in the management of vitamin A deficiency | NCBI
Inside the neutrophil phagosome: oxidants, myeloperoxidase, and bacterial killing | NCBI
Ascorbate deficiency and oxidative stress in the alveolar type II cell | NCBI
Analysis of botanicals and dietary supplements for antioxidant capacity: a review | NCBI