Nutritional science has come a long way in the last two hundred years; where once many young sailors and soldiers died of scurvy, we now know that it was a lack of Vitamin D. But this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we’ve learn about the human body and its incredibly complex nutritional processes that happen every day. One of the biggest breakthroughs has been the discovery of free radicals, which are compounds that can occur in our bodies that cause oxidative stress.

This kind of stress can lead to a huge range of different health problems, from muscle issues, heart disease, cancer, and even mental degeneration. The only way to counter these free radicals is by the adequate intake of antioxidants, which can counteract the negative effects of free radicals. These are the foods with the highest antioxidant counts.

Strawberries

While not available all year long, when they are in season, athletes are highly advised to try and get their hands on as many strawberries as possible. They contain a myriad of healthy compounds, including tons of antioxidants that can fight everything from bad cholesterol levels to major heart disease problems.

Blueberries

In front of strawberries are blueberries, and it’s visually obvious that these are packed with antioxidants due to the dark nature of the berry’s blue or black skin. The darker the pigment of the skin, the higher the count, and many studies have suggested that these small berries might have the highest count among all of the berries. One of the most potent among them are anthocyanin, which is where the berries get their unique colour. This is a pigment that can be found throughout the plant kingdom, and is a great indicator that a plant might be rich in healthy antioxidants.

Pecan Nuts

This nut, originally from Mexico, can now be found throughout the world, and many nutritionists and health experts suggest making them as part of the daily diet. One of the reasons for this is the incredibly high number of antioxidants found in just 100 grams of pecan nuts, which can reach values of up to 20000 ORAC units. To put this into perspective, a 100-gram skinless chicken breast contains around 60 antioxidants, meaning that chicken is not a good choice for anyone that’s wanting to cut down on their free radicals; although pecans are one of the best choices around.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is among the most nutritious foods that are available at the shops, as many would be delighted to learn, making it a perfect snack while watching TV or checking out the latest online games bets. It’s due to the different compounds that originate in cocoa powder – and while we can certainly find these compounds in regular chocolate, much of its effect is blunted by all the extra additives, such as milk and sugar. Dark chocolate, however, tends to be much higher in nutritional value, including how many antioxidants are found in it. For this reason, having a bit of dark chocolate every day is highly recommended; the darker the better.