It's been a hot topic of the health industry for decades on the importance of antioxidants. According to Diane L. McKay, PhD, a scientist at Tuffs University's Antioxidants Research Laboratory, antioxidants are compounds that can help prevent damage from free radicals. Antioxidants are produced naturally in our bodies and found mainly in foods containing Vitamins C and E, selenium, and carotenoids like beta-carotene, says McKay. Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, teas, coffee, and red wine are all considered good sources of antioxidants. Studies show that people who regularly consume antioxidant-rich foods tend to have a lower risk of developing chronic illness.

Antioxidant Benefits from Health-Enhancing Herbs

According to Mona Laru, ADA, founder of Naked Nutrition fresh and dried herbs are packed with flavor, which means a little goes a long way. A few sprinkles may add just the kick you're looking for. The interesting part aside from taste is that, aside from taste, the herbs are packed with antioxidants. To maximize both taste and health benefits try using garlic, cinnamon, and turmeric in blends. Garlic contains anticancer properties and can reduce cardiovascular illness. Meanwhile, cinnamon helps control blood sugar, inflammation and cholesterol. Lastly, turmeric helps improve the immune system and enhances cancer protection.

Antioxidant Advantages of Black Rice

A few years back it was proven by a nutritionist how brown varieties of rice contain higher levels of antioxidants, which are important in counteracting free radicals in the body's systems. Now it may be a perfect time to switch to another color of rice: black. Recent studies from Louisiana State University's food sciences department prove that black rice has more antioxidants than brown rice, and even beats out super-food blueberries. Black rice does have a stronger flavor than any other color of rice but it can be blended with brown rice to neutralize the taste.