Entire diets have been structured around eating antioxidants. We’ve all heard of various “antioxidant diets” or “oxygen diets”. But what are antioxidants?

Antioxidants go in and clean up left over free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive particles than can do damage to cells or DNA and cause cells and genes to become more prone to cancer. Sun damage, smoking and radiation all create free radicals, and we need to sweep them up and inactivate them.

Antioxidants include vitamins E, A, C, as well as others. Unfortunately, no study has ever shown that taking antioxidants as pills actually helps or prevents cancer, heart attacks, or strokes, or other diseases. In fact, quite the contrary, some studies have shown that taking antioxidants as pills actually leads to worst cardiovascular outcomes. Avoid spending money on pills and antioxidants supplements.

The best way to get antioxidants is in their natural form. Fruits, vegetables, and green tea are the best forms of antioxidants. There is no substitute for real antioxidants.

The Top 10 foods with the most Antioxidants:

1. Prunes
2. Raisins
3. Blueberries
4. Blackberries
5. Strawberries
6. Raspberries
7. Plums
8. Oranges
9. Red Grapes
10. Cherries

Other foods that are high in antioxidants include:

1. Fruits
Prunes, Berries (cherry, blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, crowberry, blueberry, bilberry/wild blueberry, black currant), pomegranate, grape, orange, plum, pineapple, kiwi fruit, grapefruit.

2. Vegetables
Kale, chili pepper, red cabbage, peppers, parsley, artichoke, Brussels sprouts, spinach, lemon, ginger, red beets (although beets are high in sugar).

3. Dry Fruits high in antioxidants
Apricots, prunes, dates.

4. Legumes
Broad beans, pinto beans, soybeans.

5. Nuts and seeds
Pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, ground nut or peanuts, sunflower seeds.

Peanuts contain high concentrations of antioxidant polyphenols, roasting boosts its overall antioxidant content by as much as 22 per cent. Roasted peanuts are far richer in antioxidants than apples, beets and carrots and comparable to the antioxidant content of strawberries and blackberries.

6. Cereals
Barley, millet, oats, corn.

7. Spices
Cloves, cinnamon, oregano.

Find a way to incorporate these foods and ingredients into your diet. It is much easier than you think. Taking antioxidant pills is not as efficacious as eating the real food. In fact, taking antioxidant pills has shown to be detrimental and increase death rates. Stick with the real deal!

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