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The Best Natural Sources of Antioxidants

By Edited Feb 25, 2016 1 2

As you know, antioxidants are now marketed in various forms such as vitamin C and E supplements. However, it is still best to obtain these substances from natural sources. This is because, unlike synthetic products, natural products don’t contain antioxidants alone. They also contain other essential nutrients.

With that being said, this article will provide you information about the best natural sources of antioxidants. From this list, you can ensure that your daily meals contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals that will improve and strengthen your health. 

Fruits and vegetables

fruits and vegetables
Credit: Mary LaFrance (publicdomainpictures.net)

from: publicdomainpictures.net

Almost everyone knows that the most common natural sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables. Basically, these food products do not only contain potent oxide inhibitors such as zinc, selenium, vitamin A, C and E. They also contain  high amounts of essential nutrients such as  fiber and other healthy  carbohydrates which possess a lot  of health  benefits. This is the very main reason why these food categories should always be  included in  your  daily meals.

Keep in mind that vitamins and minerals found in whole food are more potent compared to dietary supplements. Nonetheless, you have to remember that boiling vegetables may destroy more essential nutrients compared to steaming and eating it raw.

With that, according to the researchers of Tufts University, these are fruits and vegetables that have the highest antioxidant contents.

  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Strawberries
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Alfalfa  sprouts

Nuts, legumes and grains


Oxide inhibitors are always synonymous to fruits and vegetables. But, did you know that you can also get antioxidants in other natural sources such as nuts, legumes and grains?

Yes, these food products are not only rich in proteins and carbohydrates. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals. However, processed grains such as white flour and rice are not as healthy as whole grains.

Aside from that, most of these foods have “anti-nutrients”. Basically, anti-nutrients are chemical compounds that interfere with the digestion process and nutrient absorption. Hence, you will not be able  to get its true nutrient value. So, what should you do? There are certain procedures that you can do such as roasting, soaking and slow cooking to destroy or reduce their anti-nutrient contents.

With that, here is a list of products under this category that has the highest antioxidant content.

  • Pecan nuts
  • Walnut
  • Almonds
  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Oats
  • Quinoa

Chocolate, coffee and tea


Aside from those mentioned above, other common natural sources of antioxidants are chocolate, coffee and tea.

First, is chocolate. This may seem like a great news for those of you who love chocolate. However, keep in mind that only pure and unsweetened chocolate has the highest contents of antioxidants. The more you process cocoa the lesser health benefits it contains.

Typically, processed dark chocolates have an ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value that will range within the 20,000 mark. Milk chocolate on the other hand has far lesser contents.

As for coffee and tea, brewed coffee has higher contents per cup compared to tea. However, since the recommended daily dose of tea is higher than coffee, you get more by opting for either black,  green or Oolong tea.

In addition to that, it is also noted in some studies that tea contains more antioxidants than fruits. But, of course, considering other essential nutrients, fruits and vegetables are still your best option. Nevertheless, if you are a tea or coffee lover, this is definitely a pleasing information for you. 

The Importance of Including Antioxidant Rich Foods in Your Every Meal

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May 6, 2013 11:09am
A very resourceful article. Anti-oxidants are so vital to good health. Knowing where to get them in foods is valuable knowledge.
May 7, 2013 10:28pm
Thanks! I'm glad you find this helpful. It is actually best to get our daily dose of antioxidants on natural resources for various reasons such as: it is more nutritious, economical and have less to no side-effects.
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  1. "Top 10 Antioxidant-Rich Fruits and Veggies." Reader's Digest. 5/03/2013 <Web >
  2. Bridget Coila "ANTIOXIDANT-RICH FRUITS & VEGETABLES." Livestrong. 5/03/2013 <Web >
  3. PF Louis "Antioxidants from food- The 5 Best Sources." Natural News. 5/03/2013 <Web >
  4. Mussarrat Butt "Whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds need to be correctly prepared otherwise we risk imbalanced health." Wellbeing with Nutrition. 5/03/2013 <Web >
  5. "Which Is Higher In Antioxidants - Coffee Or Tea?." Fit Day. 5/03/2013 <Web >

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