Unlikely Sources of Antioxidants

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Antioxidants are nutrients that protect the body from free radical damage. Free radical damage is caused by destructive ions that target healthy cells. Unfortunately, it is hard to avoid free radicals because they are present in the air you breathe in and in cellular waste. Studies show that free radical damage is the precursor to serious diseases including cancer and heart disease.

To neutralize free radical damage, you have to consume foods that are high in antioxidants. We know spinach, berries, and chia seeds are packed with antioxidants but you’d be surprised to know that there are other foods out there that make an excellent source of antioxidants:


Mushroom is the perfect diet food. It is high in protein and vitamin D. It is low in calories and cholesterol but packed with essential minerals. Even better, mushrooms contain ergothioneine. Ergothioneine is an antioxidant that protects healthy cells from cell mutation that cause cancer! In fact, ergothioneine is often used by scientists to treat cancer and AIDS. This nutrient is also prized for its anti-aging effects! This is the reason why most skin care brands use mushroom essences in their anti-wrinkle products. Mushrooms that contain the highest levels of ergothioneine include oyster mushroom.


Who knew that the world’s favorite morning drink is actually teeming with antioxidants? Coffee is loaded with chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant that neutralizes the negative effects of bad cholesterol. According to researchers, free radical stress worsens the impact of bad cholesterol in the body, increasing the risk of coronary disease. However, because coffee is often taken with sugar or sweeteners, we recommend drinking black coffee to maximize its health benefits. Putting too much cream or sugar in your coffee will cause unwanted weight gain!


That’s right, your favorite breakfast food is actually teeming with antioxidants. In the past, eggs earned a bad rap for their cholesterol content. But new studies show that eggs could be one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the market.

Eggs are a great source of antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin, which are concentrated on the egg yolk, helps prevent age-related vision problems. These nutrients keep the optical nerves healthy.

Eggs are also low in calories, making them an ideal source of healthy proteins. They are incredibly versatile so you can cook them in so many ways and come out with delicious, low-calorie results!


Avocado may be high in calories, but the positive definitely outweighs the negatives. Avocadoes are high in heart-friendly monounsaturated fats. These beneficial fats reduce the risk of artery hardening and heart disease. Monounsaturated fats also protect the fats from oxidizing, reducing the risk of cancer.

Avocados are also loaded with polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants that protect the heart from free radical stress. Combining polyphenols from avocados with carotenoids (vitamin A antioxidants) reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.  Barley

Unrefined grains, such as barley, are high in dietary fiber and nutrients that enhance cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health. Boosting your consumption of fiber also speeds up fat burning. But did you know barley is also high in antioxidant ferulic acid? Ferulic acid neutralizes the negative effects of a stroke to the brain, speeding up recovery after suffering from a stroke.