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10 Best Antioxidants and What Foods to Eat for Them

Antioxidants are crucial to your health. Here are 10 your body needs and how to find them in food.

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What Are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are compounds naturally found in various foods that help protect cells against free radical damage. Free radicals can damage cells and may also play a role in cancer, heart disease, and other conditions. Scientists are still discovering the various forms of antioxidants as there are so many! For example, there are more than 4,000 known flavonoids which is only one class of antioxidant. Below are 10 well known antioxidants and where you can find them.

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Vitamin C

This water soluble vitamin also goes by the name ascorbic acid. In addition to its potential immune-boosting properties, vitamin C helps form collagen, which is a fibrous material that makes the body’s connective tissue and helps keep hair, skin, and nails strong. Vitamin C is important to help absorb plant-based sources of iron (like spinach and kale). It also helps decrease inflammation and prevents damage to the body’s cells.

Top food sources: citrus fruit like oranges and grapefruit; broccoli; bell peppers

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Vitamin E

This fat-soluble vitamin helps protect cells from free radical damage that may lead to heart disease and certain forms of cancer (like prostate and colorectal). This vitamin also helps boost immunity and keeps hair and skin healthy.

Top food sources: Spinach, peanut butter, canola oil, wheat germ, and sunflower seeds

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Beta-carotene is one of the main plant-based forms of vitamin A — the other is retinol. This antioxidant form of vitamin A works to protect your cells from free radical damage.

Top food sources: Sweet potatoes, carrots, mustard greens, kale, butternut squash, and cantaloupe

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