8 Surprising Foods That Contain Antioxidants

blueberries

The antioxidant craze is the newest trend in healthy eating. Antioxidants help your body destroy cells that could one day turn into cancer, and they’re found in many fruits and vegetables. Some foods that contain antioxidants, however, might be a little surprising. If you want to add more antioxidants to your diet, consider these eight foods.

Small Red Beans

When it comes to antioxidants, small red beans (dried) have the most, believe it or not. In one serving of small red beans, which is about a one-half cup, there are more than twice as many antioxidants as there are in one serving of raspberries, and nearly three times as many antioxidants as are in one apple. In fact, many legumes are a great source of antioxidants. Runners-up include red kidney beans and pinto beans.

Wild Blueberries

Perhaps this one isn’t so surprising, as blueberries are commonly touted as the most antioxidant-rich fruit. Blueberries do contain a high concentration of antioxidants in each serving, however wild blueberries contain almost twice as many antioxidants as cultivated blueberries. This is an important distinction. If you want to get your antioxidants from blueberries, choose wild ones whenever you can to get the most bang for your buck.

Artichokes

Artichoke (cooked) is the vegetable that has more antioxidants than any other vegetable, and it has more antioxidants per serving than blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and apples. One cup of cooked artichoke hearts is an excellent source of antioxidants.

Prunes

Prunes aren’t exactly the most glamorous of foods, but they have a lot of health benefits. Besides keeping you regular, prunes also contain almost as many antioxidants as blackberries in each serving, and they contain more antioxidants than most other fruits, too.

Pecan

Nuts contain antioxidants, but pecan is the type that contains the most notable quantity. If you want to get your antioxidants through nuts, choose pecans. A one-ounce serving has nearly as many antioxidants as a Red Delicious apple.

Red Delicious Apples

Again, apples are well-known for being rich in antioxidants and in general one of the healthiest fruits you can eat. The type of apple you choose, however, matters. Red Delicious apples have the most antioxidants, and they have almost twice as many antioxidants as Gala apples. The runner-up that has nearly as many antioxidants as Red Delicious is Granny Smith.

Russet Potatoes

When you think of starchy foods, you don’t usually think about antioxidants. While potatoes are delicious and filling, they aren’t considered to have a lot of nutritional value when compared to other types of produce. One-cup of cooked Russet potatoes, however, has almost as many antioxidants as a Granny Smith apple, and more antioxidants than a Gala apple.

Dark Chocolate

One of the most pleasing foods that contains antioxidants is dark chocolate. If you needed another reason for your chocolate fix, here it is. Just make sure that it’s dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has more antioxidants and more health benefits in general than white chocolate or milk chocolate.

Steven Peters is a health specialist practicing in St. Louis.  He enjoys sharing information with others and his favorite topics include nutrition & exercise.

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