The world is swimming in free radicals and toxins, and antioxidants offer defense against them. Research shows that eating foods rich in antioxidants shields cells against heart disease, reduces inflammation, controls the complications of diabetes, protects your DNA, guards against dementia, enhances your vision, and so much more. You may have disliked broccoli, carrots, and spinach as a kid, but now is the time to acquire a taste for food that will keep you healthy and enhance your life.

These foods pack powerful antioxidants and blast free radicals. Include these foods as often as you can in your daily diet to reap the benefits of a healthy body.

1. Blueberries

Blueberries guard your cells against damage, lower inflammation and protect your immune system. They’re a superfood that contains phytochemicals that fight against disease. Blueberries are delicious frozen and eaten as a cold treat, or blended into your favorite smoothie.

2. Sweet Potatoes

A single sweet potato packs a load of important nutrients, including vitamins A, C and B6. Sweet potatoes are quickly becoming a restaurant and home kitchen favorite.

3. Nuts

Nuts contain omega-3s, phytochemicals, essential fats and important minerals. Whether you eat them as a daily snack or on top of your favorite entrée or salad, nuts enrich your diet and shield against free radicals.

4. Raspberries

Raspberries contain an essential phytochemical called ellagic acid, which may fight against cancer. Don’t have a raspberry bush in their backyard? Raspberries are readily available all year in most supermarkets.

5. Tea

An ancient remedy for so many ills, tea is a hero when it comes to fighting inflammation and warding off free radicals. Tea contains two phytochemicals (anthocyanin and pro anthocyanin) and catechins (antioxidants that guard against cell damage). There are many varieties and flavors of tea available. Green tea packs the most punch. 

6. Spinach

Dark green leafy vegetables are a nutritional staple. Adding spinach to any meal provides essential nutrients that tackle free radicals. Full of magnesium, potassium, calcium and vitamins C, E, and A, spinach can be eaten raw, steamed, or added to your favorite entrée.

7. Legumes

Rich in folate, zinc, selenium, and more, legumes are another antioxidant-rich go-to food! Kidney beans, pinto beans, soybeans, and the others provide quality fiber your body needs to maintain overall health. Studies show that eating a diet rich in fiber stops free radicals in their tracks.

8. Grapes

Available in a variety of colors and textures, grapes are loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals. The darker the color, the better. Grape seed, grape seed oil, and dried grapes can be found in therapeutic homeopathic medicines too.

9. Carrots

Carrots are packable, kid friendly and multi-talented in the kitchen. Yes, carrots are good for your eyes, and the beta-carotene and antioxidants in carrots will help to guard against vision problems as you age.

When choosing antioxidant-rich foods, look for foods that are colorful – such as red, yellow, and green peppers, broccoli, carrots, spinach, and sweet potatoes. Find a rainbow of fruits and vegetables in your local farmer’s market. Eating healthy can be fun!