Foods High In Antioxidants - Top 21 Anti Aging Foods

 

Antioxidants keep us youthful, and so we need a plentiful supply of them to maintain healthy bodies and to keep our brains sharp well into old age. On this list are all plants based foods high in antioxidants, but some more so than others. In fact some of these top 21 anti aging foods truly deserve super food status due to their impressive array of phytochemicals and nutrients that help keep us in tip-top health.

 

WHAT ARE ANTIOXIDANTS EXACTLY?

Antioxidants are specific molecules found in certain foods that help inhibit the oxidation of other molecules (ie the molecules inside every cell in our bodies). This is important because oxidative damage is one of the root causes of most diseases, illnesses and AGING in general.

 

Unpaired electrons cause accelerated aging process-

antioxidants are free radical scavengers

Oxidative damage to our cells is caused by many seemingly benign every day activities and addictions (see list below) that cause our cells to split thus triggering free radicals in our body. These unpaired electrons called free radicals then scavenge our bodies looking to pair themselves up again, causing damage on their way to our DNA, our cells and other proteins.

Therefore it is crucial this free radical damage be negated as much as possible, because this damage when it gets out of control can have a domino effect, eventually triggering diseases such as cancer, alzheimer’s, and most other age related illnesses.

 

WHAT CAUSES THIS OXIDATIVE DAMAGE?

Pollution in the air damages our detoxification system

  • Over exercising OR not exercising enough Both of these can cause oxidative stress so stick to no more than an hour a day, and by the same token make sure your’e doing at least half an hour 5 times per week. 
  • Over eating, especially sugars and refined carbohydrates – Over eating causes our mitochondria to release more ‘exhaust’ so to speak, and this  creates higher free radical levels from the burning of fuel from our food for energy.
  • Excessive stress – Something that we’re all guilty of in our busy lives – excessive stress literally is a killer! It causes us to release the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn produces inflammation in the body thus creating free radical damage. It’s also worth mentioning here that chronic inflammation underpins most diseases and illnesses.
  • Too much alcohol – Excessive drinking increases cytokine levels which are molecules that cause oxidative stress through inflammation.
  • Smoking – an obvious one! – Cigarettes contain over 4,000 chemicals – which sounds absolutely horrendous right? And it’s these chemicals – the worst being formaldehyde, lead, arsenic and ammonia that cause the most destructive kind of oxidative stress which will almost certainly lead to disease and ill health.
  • Ionizing radiation – Now this can mean many things, but most commonly is exposure to the sun (as in sun damage), or mobile phones, WIFI, airplanes and X-rays can all cause oxidative stress in our bodies.
  • Fungus – Molds and fungus like those found in your bathroom or in damp houses contribute to oxidatve stress in the body, as do candida and other fungal infections in and on the body itself.
  • Burnt foods – Especially burnt meat or cheese – the process of burning food oxidises it and when consumed causes oxidation, thus free radical damage in the body.
  • Poor sleep and chronic insomnia – Both of these cause stress due to the fact that the body hasn’t been able to rejuvenate and repair itself properly – in the long term this will have a snow ball effect in terms of oxidative damage and the resulting problems.
  • Pollution and chemicals – Again this can come in many forms, from household pollutants such as cleaning products, air fresheners, soaps, shampoos and make up etc, to the outdoor pollution of industrial toxins, airplane fuel and car exhaust fumes. Even our food is full of chemicals, preservatives and fertilisers and the water we drink full of yet more chemicals
  • Infections – Chronic long term infections such as chlamydia and gum disease all contribute to oxidative stress and damage in the body.
  • Bad liver and gut detoxification – When the liver becomes overwhelmed in its pursuit of detoxifying all of these toxins it will produce yet even more free radicals which perpetuates the cycle even further. At this stage a proper detoxification may be necessary to bring the system back into a state of balance.

 

DETOXIFICATION:

vegetables are high in antioxidants and are anti aging

 

As you can see there are many ways in which our body comes under free radical attack, and many of them simply cannot be avoided – BUT you can go a long way to giving yourself a helping hand, which is where antioxidant rich foods come in. These alone should not be your only protection, but they will help, especially alongside other lifestyle changes:-

  • A healthy diet.
  • Adequate exercise
  • Not smoking.
  • Watching alcohol intake.
  • Staying away from as much as possible heavily polluted areas.
  • Lots of houseplants to purify air.
  • Where possible buying organic food, cosmetics and soaps.
  • Staying away from or cutting down drastically on junk foods, fried foods, burnt foods, sugar, and refined carbohydrates.

The detoxification systems of the body

 

Remember, your body is designed to detoxify itself, and without this magnificent system beavering away inside of us 24/7 we would not survive even a day. It is important to understand that we were not designed to detoxify from all the harsh pollutants we are exposed to in our modern world.

These pollutants put a huge strain on our liver and other detoxification organs, meaning eventually the battle is lost and we succumb to disease and sickness. This is why it’s vital we take precautions to help prevent this.

 

FOODS HIGH IN ANTIOXIDANTS – TOP 21 ANTI AGING FOODS

This list is of the most commonly found foods that are the highest in antioxidants. You should aim for at least 7+ portions of these per day to keep your body in good health and detoxified adequately. They are also great for anti aging, and should be eaten in their most rawest state possible (or very lightly steamed) which will help to keep those nutrients and fibers intact.

Bell peppers have colourful antioxidant pigments

 

  1. Berries of all kinds
  2. Dark Chocolate (at least 70% cacao)
  3. Pecan Nuts
  4. Kidney Beans
  5. Corriander
  6. Pomegranates
  7. Pumpkin Seeds
  8. Red Wine/ Red Grapes/ Raisins
  9. Sweet Potatoes
  10. Kale
  11. Broccoli
  12. Tomatoes
  13. Prunes
  14. Oranges
  15. Spinach
  16. Brussels Sprouts 
  17. Onions
  18. Beetroot
  19. Bell Peppers
  20. Green Super Food

 

Side Note: There are many green super food powders available on the market that are all great for detoxification purposes including spirulina, wheatgrass, barleygrass, moringa and blue/green algae’s. They deliver a concentrated hit of nutrients that have been picked and freeze dried at their peak.

I take a shot of a green food supplement every day and I couldn’t live without it as I notice the difference so much in my complexion and energy levels. I can only presume if it’s showing from the outside then it must be doing so much more on the inside that I can’t even see!

The powder I use and can thoroughly recommend as being the best I’ve tried is Dr. Schulze’s Green Super Food Powder. This has a unique blend of all the best green superfoods and grasses and takes your skin to another level – it’s true what they say that beauty really does come from the inside!

For help clearing out your cupboards and getting healthy foods into your diet the easy way please visit my post Easy Steps to Eating Healthily.

 

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Categories: PLANT BASED DIET

Stefanie Taylor

I have studied nutrition for many years, and have since discovered that a plant based diet has been the most beneficial to my health and body. I have more energy and zest for life than I have ever had and this website is dedicated to helping others who wish to know more, and start out on this lifestyle.

20 Comments

peter · 08/02/2018 at 12:02 pm

Wow I never knew burnt food could cause me oxidation. Thanks for the loads of remedies here. Now I know better how to improve my daily living.

    Stefanie Taylor · 08/02/2018 at 1:43 pm

    Hi Peter, so great that you found my post inspiring and that it has helped you to see ways you can improve on your own diet. This will surely stand you in good stead for the future.
    Good luck!

Dave · 08/02/2018 at 12:14 pm

Amazing, such an easy to read article explaining in term I can understand antioxidants. I have heard a lot about it, but now I know what it is about. It reminded me of oxidation on metal (rust). I guess just like oxygen corrodes metal, these free radicals corrode our cells. Nice also to have a list of the good foods to protect the cells Thank you for your article. Cheers Dave

    Stefanie Taylor · 08/02/2018 at 1:18 pm

    Hi Dave, yes that’s exactly what it is, the same as oxidation of metal or another example is when an apple turns brown when exposed to oxygen. It’s all oxidation, except when it happens in out body it is bad and accelerate the aging process on both the inside and out.
    That’s why we all need to eat as many antioxidants as we possibly can to help prevent not only aging but many of the diseases that come hand in hand with aging, such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and a host of other things.

      Dave · 08/02/2018 at 1:37 pm

      Awesome, rusting from the inside out. LOL
      I will have to start nibbling on those 20 key foods.
      Thanks for educating me. Dave

jessie palaypay · 08/02/2018 at 6:31 pm

Is oxidative damage something that can lead to cancer more specifically? You mentioned various diseases and I have heard about the benefits of antioxidants with respect to cancer. Also, what is a good serving for each amount of the superfoods that you listed? Should I take only one or have two servings of each?

    Stefanie Taylor · 08/02/2018 at 8:18 pm

    Hi Jessie, yes oxidative damage is very bad because it leads to chronic inflammation and that chronic inflammation is what scientists have now discovered can lead to cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and most other chronic conditions.

    So, it’s definitely worth getting as many of those antioxidants in as possible to protect yourself. A portion would be something like 1 piece of ordinary sized fruit (like an an apple or orange), a large handful of berries or grapes. Same goes for vegetables, go for large handful sizes. Nuts would be a small handful. And to be honest, don’t think you can get to much of this stuff, it’s just so good for you. I would try to get 10 portions a day if possible.

    Remember it is always wise to eat a rainbow of colours with these superfoods as it is the different colour pigments that give fruit and vegetables their antioxidant power. Hope this helps and please feelfree to contact me again if you have any more questions. Good luck on your healthy journey!

Blanka · 08/02/2018 at 9:48 pm

This is very important information that everyone should read, and what is even more important, apply. The food high in antioxidants is varied and it is actually very tasty so it shouldn’t be complicated to include it in a daily diet. Great article, as always!

    Stefanie Taylor · 09/02/2018 at 10:55 am

    Hi Blanka, I’m really glad you have found my post a good read. Yes, the importance of antioxidants in ones diet cannot be stated enough. Most people just don’t realise how much we need to eat these kind of foods to stay healthy. I hope I can change that in a small way and help others to see the significance of high antioxidant foods.

Fred · 09/02/2018 at 12:41 pm

Thank you for this post, I actually learned that burnt food is bad for you and harms the body. I always loved to eat the burnt part. Now I’m thinking about how wrong I am with that. Also exercising too much I didn’t know you could do that, but my problem is I don’t exercise enough. Good post.

    Stefanie Taylor · 09/02/2018 at 1:18 pm

    Hi Fred, I know exactly what you mean about eating the burnt part! That was always my favourite thing too, especially before I became vegan. I loved a really well done steak and cheese on toast, but luckily these things are a non issue for me now, though I do still indulge in a bit of well done toast every now and then.

    I think it’s like with everything n life, moderation is key. If you do have burnt foods every now and then, then make sure you take lots of antioxidants in as well. We all have to enjoy our lives and I believe worrying about it all too much is counter productive.
    Just know the basics of a healthy lifestyle and live around that.

    Yes, it sounds shocking but you can exercise too much. Remember that the body wasn’t actually designed for such repetitive exercise like the sort we do now. Long distance running for a start often causes lots of stress and wear and tear on the joints and also produces lots of free radicals in the body. That’s why they say natural exercises and movements like swimming and hiking, and also different terrains such as sand, grass and rock cause us to use differnt muscles and are more natural to our body. There’s just no need to offer do it with anything.

Evan · 09/02/2018 at 6:44 pm

I love your article! The more I read about antioxidants the more benefits I see from making them an integral part of my diet. I’m really interested In the ‘Green Super food Powder’, it looks great. I’m on a low carbohydrate diet and it only has 1 net carb! I’ll definitely come back and order some soon. Thanks for all the info. Keep up the good work.

    Stefanie Taylor · 09/02/2018 at 6:50 pm

    Hi Evan, yes these foods are great and have such powerful antioxidants that I thoroughly recommend you eat them every day, especially if you are doing a lot of training and exercise as you will be creating free radicals in your body. Wow, 1g of net carb! I think I would actually die if I tried to do that, I can only guess your’e doing it to get cut or lose weight? I hope it works out for you and thanks for commenting.

Rachel · 10/02/2018 at 3:53 am

Uh-oh. I’m guilty of not exercising enough, over eating (probably), excessive stress, poor sleep and pollution (we can’t escape from the world we are living in). That’s 5/12 of what you have listed. I guess I’m considered medium-to-high risk?

Thanks for the list of foods, and I’m glad to see them because I’m a fan of vegetables and fruits! One question though: Why is Dark Chocolate good? Aren’t all chocolates bad?

    Stefanie Taylor · 10/02/2018 at 10:20 am

    Hi Rachel, don’t feel too bad as I reckon you are pretty much the same as most of us. You’re right, we can’t escape from the world but we can negate the effects of these toxins by making sure we eat as many antioxidants as possible.

    As for dark chocolate, I just had to put this on the list as I love it, it is my favourite treat. But it is crucial that you go as dark as possible to get the least amount of sugar, I’m not taking about the cheap, candy type chocolate that is mostly just sugar and about 3% cacao, but the proper chocolate that is at least 70% cacao. This is the stuff that is full of antioxidants. 

    The cacao bean in itself contains no sugar and is a great source of antioxidants and many other nutrients (especially magnesium), so therefore is considered a healthy food. But like with everything good in life, moderation is key. Hope that helps.

penelope · 11/02/2018 at 12:27 am

I really need to get on board the green food bandwagon. It’s so easy to eat poorly, at least in the US- any social experience involves food out, fried food, bread, pizza, and of course dessert….we reward ourselves with the things that harm us. Reprogramming to healthy, vibrant natural foods should be easier than it is!

    Stefanie Taylor · 11/02/2018 at 10:42 am

    I know what you mean about social experiences being revolved around food as it’s the same here in the UK mostly (but not as bad as US).I do remember going to Florida as a kid and it was shocking the size of portions and the amount of food people put on their plate. And in the hotel we were staying in the only options for breakfast were sugary doughnuts and muffins washed down with gallons of coffee. Us kids loved it, but it was definitely different to what we were used to.

    I think it is all about reprogramming and starting off slowly because the taste buds do change much more quickly than you think and before you know it you are sick at the thought of junk foods and craving healthy foods…honestly!

sarah · 11/02/2018 at 10:05 pm

WOW, this list of food which are highly rich in antioxidants is really good and handy for all of us to understand. As you have mentioned antioxidants are really good for ageing skin but these are really good as a beauty booster at all age groups. A great article and superb information as always. Great job.

    Stefanie Taylor · 11/02/2018 at 10:15 pm

    Yes of course, these foods are a great beauty booster for everyone, and also great for disease prevention and so many other things. We all need to be getting as much of these high antioxidant foods down us as possible on a daily basis. Thanks Sarah.

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