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Antioxidants are important in that they help neutralize harmful molecules called free radicals in our bodies. Antioxidants play several important roles in the body including but not limited to, protecting cells, reducing inflammation, maintaining heart health, and protecting against age-related decline.

Antioxidants work by donating electrons to free radicals, stabilizing them, and preventing them from causing further damage. There are many different types of antioxidants including vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. Other antioxidants are minerals such as selenium and zinc. Plant compounds called phytochemicals can also have antioxidant properties with such compounds as flavonoids, polyphenols and carotenoids.


Getting proper nutrition through diet is important.  Here are five foods that are high in antioxidants.


  1. Berries – such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries are rich in antioxidants like anthocyanins, flavonoids, and vitamin C.  Consuming berries regularly may support brain health, improve heart health and aid in maintaining healthy skin.


  1. Nuts and Seeds – such as almonds and walnuts and seeds such as chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds are packed with antioxidants.  Antioxidants including vitamin E, selenium, and flavonoids. These antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.  Nuts and seeds are also rich in healthy fats, high in fiber and protein which make them a nutritious addition to your diet.



  1. Dark Leafy Greens – Of course, one must include some nice greens in a diet. Such as vegetables like kale, spinach, or Swiss chard. These include vitamins A, C and E and phytonutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin. Dark leafy greens are also rich in fiber and that may help support digestive health and maintaining a healthy weight.


  1. Dark Chocolate – Mmm-Mmm.  High quality dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70% or higher is rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids like catechins and epicatechins. These antioxidants help improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease. They also say that dark chocolate may have a mood-enhancing effect due to its ability to stimulate production of endorphins and serotonin in the brain.



  1. Spices – It may seem surprising to some people that certain spices can be high in antioxidants. Spices like turmeric, cloves and cinnamon are potent sources of antioxidants, particularly polyphenols and curcuminoids. Incorporating spices into your meals can add flavour and enhance the nutritional value of your meal.


Remember that it is always important to consume any foods as part of a balanced diet that has a variety of nutrient-dense foods for optimal health.

So go ahead and try some new foods if you do not already include them in your diet. See if it works in changing it up for some of your meals!