10 High Antioxidant Foods

An antioxidant is a molecule that helps to mitigate the damage cause by free radical oxygen molecules. Free radicals are molecules that are lacking an electron. They steal electrons from other molecules, thereby damaging the gene, the chromosome, the DNA or the cell the molecule belongs to. Antioxidants have “too many” electrons and give the free radical one of theirs. This makes the free radical molecule “happy” — this is actually a scientific term — and allows it to leave other molecules alone.

Common antioxidants include vitamins such as vitamin A, C and E. Here are 10 foods rich in these antioxidants:

1. Goji Berries

Goji berries are red berries that look like grape tomatoes but have a sweet/sour taste. Native to China, goji berries are rich in amino acids, fiber, complex carbohydrates and vitamins C and A. They also contain other antioxidants called flavonoids. These are antioxidants found in plants. Goji berries also have a surprising amount of protein.

Among the health benefits is protection against the flu. Goji berries also support the immune system and blood glucose and testosterone levels. They can help a person lose weight and boost their energy levels.

Nutritionists warn that a person should consult with their doctor before they make these berries part of their diet. They can interact badly with medicines such as warfarin and should be avoided by people who have hypoglycemia and problems with their blood pressure. Pregnant women should not eat the berries because it’s been known to cause miscarriage, and women who are breastfeeding should also avoid them. Even people who do not have the aforementioned conditions should eat goji berries in moderation. A quarter of a cup has so much vitamin A that they risk overdosing on this fat soluble vitamin if they eat too much.

Goji berries are often sold dried, and they can be used much like raisins. A few teaspoons can be tossed into cereal, yogurt or oatmeal. Fresh berries can be juiced.