We’ve all heard the benefits of foods that contain antioxidants. No matter where you look magazines, television, radio programs, and the internet there are people praising the benefits of foods with antioxidants. And you know what? They’re all right.

But you may be asking, “what are antioxidants?” By definition, antioxidants like vitamins A and C are substances that can help prevent the effects of free radical damage in the body. In other words antioxidants can neutralize the process of oxidation and cellular damage that contributes to aging and disease.

There are foods out there that are extremely high in antioxidants and eating them on a regular basis can reverse the signs of aging and help prevent – and in some cases even reverse – disease processes such as cancer and heart disease, as well as reduce blood pressure.

Here are my favorite antioxidant foods out there. I eat them all the time and if you want to stay healthy and youthful you should start incorporating them into your diet too!

  • Berries In addition to being sweet and delicious berries such as blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries offer a ton of antioxidant capacity! In fact, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries are high in proanthocyanidins, which are antioxidants that can help prevent heart disease, and cancer. Normally I include my berries in my smoothies, but you can also have them mixed in with yogurt, or just enjoy them on their own as a snack.
  • Broccoli Out of every vegetable broccoli is definitely the most nutritious. Broccoli contains more vitamin C than an orange, and more calcium than a glass of milk! Along with all the vitamins and nutrients broccoli is filled with disease-fighting chemicals called phytonutrients, these have been shown to lower the risk of many types of cancers. No matter if you steam them, eat them raw, or use them in stir-frys broccoli should be one of the staples in any healthy diet.
  • Garlic Sure it maybe harmful to vampires, but the health benefits of garlic have been touted for centuries, and raw garlic has been used as a natural antibiotic to kill off some harmful strains of bacteria. Garlic is also useful for decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol, removing heavy metals from the body, preventing cancer, and acting as an antifungal and antiviral agent.
  • Green tea For most people green tea is an acquired taste, but once you become accustomed to it you now have one of the best antioxidants going into your body. The compounds contained in green tea work in the body with other chemicals heighten the level of fat oxidization and create a state within the body that helps to burn fat as fuel. If you’re looking to lose weight you should consume a minimum of 3 cups of green tea a day. Green tea has also been shown to help prevent cancer, heart disease and high cholesterol.
  • Tomatoes This is hands down one of my favorite foods! I could sit down right now and eat one like an apple, that’s how much I love tomatoes! Not only are tomatoes delicious and versatile they are also the richest source of a powerful anticancer agent called lycopene. In fact, research has shown lycopene is a more powerful disease fighter than vitamin E and beta carotene. Now lycopene needs fat for optimal absorption to occur, so a great trick that I use all the time is to add olive oil to my spaghetti sauce. Olive oil contains healthy fats, so this is the best way to get all that lycopene into your system.

There are many healthy options out there, but these five are definitely my favorite foods out there that contain antioxidants. So try incorporating them into your diet! Not only will you feel better, you will have the peace of mind that your fighting off the effects of aging and helping to prevent disease.

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