Every day, your body produces substances called free radicals. This occurs during normal metabolic processes as well as during exposure to chemicals in our environment. These free radicals cause chemical chain reactions (oxidation reactions) in the tissues which lead to cell damage. Antioxidants are molecules that work to stop these chain reactions and help minimize the damaging effects of free radicals in the body.1 Antioxidants may help to keep us healthy and reduce the risk of health problems.
Plant based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts are considered to be good dietary sources of antioxidants. If you are looking to increase your antioxidant intake, fruits with the highest antioxidant concentrations include cranberries, blueberries and blackberries. Among the vegetables, choose beans, artichokes and potatoes and walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts among the nuts.