Want to boost immunity, slow the aging process, and fend off serious diseases—all at once? Eat your antioxidants. This supercharged group of compounds—such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, and bioflavonoids—does battle with the unstable molecules (free radicals) that are thought to be a primary cause of cancer, heart disease, and more. Which foods top the charts?

 

Antioxidant(s)

Notes

How to eat

Fruit
Açai

Vitamins A and C

Açai fruit (Amazon palmberries) has twice as many antioxidants as blueberries.

Available in the frozen foods section. Excellent in smoothies.

Vegetable
Spinach

Beta-carotene and lutein

Beta-carotene may help prevent cancer and heart disease. Lutein helps protect vision.

Cooking makes the antioxidant carotenoids easier for the body to absorb.

Nut
Walnuts

Ellagic acid

Studies show that ellagic acid may be the most potent way to prevent cancer and inhibit cancer cell growth in genetically predisposed individuals.

Raw, and as fresh as possible.

Spice
Cloves

Allixin flavonoids

Cloves have higher antioxidant activity compared with other common spices such as ginger, garlic, mint, pepper, and cinnamon.

Add to recipes or take in capsule form.

Beverage
White tea

Polyphenols

White tea has three times more antioxidant polyphenols than green tea, and has been shown to be 100 percent more effective in combating free radicals.

Look for quality, loose-leaf teas.