16 Foods with the Most Antioxidants for Lowering Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
We all know how important antioxidants are for our health and our bodies. They help our bodies fight unstable oxygen molecules known as free radicals, which are responsible for a host of chronic illnesses. The best foods for fighting free radicals have high levels of vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and flavonoids to neutralize free radicals. All of the following foods are nutrient-rich, full of antioxidants, and help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Small red beans tops the list of antioxidant packed beans, with pinto and kidney beans close behind. Enjoy these beans in a simple red salad that includes cherry tomatoes and diced red onion.
Dark Chocolate and Cacao
Dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao content, and unsweetened cocoa powder a rich in antioxidants. Heating chocolate destroys some of it’s health benefits, so try blending some into your fruit smoothie (great with berry smoothies).
This nut is rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage. Best enjoyed raw as a snack, or as a crunchy topping to a spinach and strawberry salad.
Red and purple grapes are more potent than their green counterparts when it comes to antioxidants. Slice some up and add them to some raw organic plain yogurt to give it some natural sweetness.
Apples contain phytochemicals called polyphenols which make them a great source of antioxidants, but make sure you keep the skin on. The skin has a much higher dose of antioxidants than the flesh. Cut some up and mix it into your next bowl of steel cut oats.
With their high vitamin C content and phenolic compounds, plums offer us significant antioxidant protection. They’re great on their own, or mixed into a fruit salad for an added health boost.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This oil is not only heart healthy, but it has a high concentration of polyphenols which give it both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Don’t lose any of the goodness by cooking with it, use it to lightly dress your next salad.
Not only are carrots full of beta-carotene, but they contain more carotenoids than any other vegetable. Carotenoids are antioxidants that help protect against cancers, heart disease, and cataracts. Carrots are best enjoyed raw or lightly steamed to take advantage of all their antioxidant goodness.
Like the carrot, this root vegetable is full of the antioxidant beta-carotene which is also essential for healthy skin and vision and to support immunity. Substitute them for regular potatoes next time you make mashed potatoes, but avoid the use of milk or butter; they are sweet enough on their own.
Kiwifruit is one of the most well-known powerhouses when it comes to vitamin C, but it is also rich in vitamin E and lutein. Kiwi delivers a huge dose of antioxidants and nourishes friendly bacteria in the gut. We think that this fruit is perfect as it is, and that’s the way we prefer to eat them.
Coffee and Tea
Both are full of flavonoids, a plant-derived antioxidant that stops the oxidative damage done to cells, but coffee actually contains more than tea. Enjoy them as is, sweetening with organic honey only if really necessary.
Because of it’s high levels of phenolic compounds, cloves have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Be careful when using this spice, as it has a very strong taste, a little goes a long way.
Cherries are rich in quercetin, an antioxidant that helps modulate inflammation and also acts as an antihistamine, reducing the effect of allergies in people. We love cherries crushed on a piece of whole grain toast, beats sugary jams and jellies any day.
Dark, Leafy Greens
These greens a packed with folate and antioxidants the help decrease inflammation, as well as chlorophyll that helps the body’s ability to detoxify. Steam these and dress them lightly with some extra virgin olive oil and some sea salt and pepper for a great warm salad.
These foods are great ways to get your body some antioxidants easily as well as deliciously. Eating to your health never sounded so good