What Are The Best Plant Based Antioxidants?

July 10, 2019
Vegan Living

What Are the Best Plant Based Antioxidants?

What are antioxidants? Our plant based summer foods are packed with the best plant based antioxidants in the world. The word antioxidant is one of those words we throw around in general conversation. But. do many of us really know what antioxidants are and how they can benefit our plant based summer recipes? To understand why antioxidants are so important, and how they benefit both us and our food, we need to take a close look common everyday word.

What is An Antioxidant?

An antioxidant is an enzyme or substance capable of neutralizing a free radical. So, what are free radicals? They are atoms or molecules which can cause damage to the body. Free radicals can be found in food and in our environment.

Recent studies have shown that we need more antioxidants in our diet than previously thought. We pay more attention to the vitamins in our food, but if we paid more attention to the antioxidants, the vitamins would more or less take care of themselves. As a matter of fact, some vitamins are antioxidants. No single vitamin or mineral is sufficient – we need a combination working in harmony.

The Modern Day Diet of Filling our Stomachs

Most of us still eat a “stomach based diet”. This means we are more interested in filling our stomachs than keeping an eye of that we get enough nutritional value out of our food. We have still not learned dietary factors play an enormous importance when we want to live healthy lives. If you want lose belly fat, you should not eat a stomach based diet.


The best antioxidants in the world are produced by plants. There are other sources but they are far less bioavailable to us than plant based foods. Also, getting your antioxidants from plant based foods give you a better variety and is cheaper as well.

List of the 10 Top Ten Best Plant Based Antioxidants in the World

  1. Flavonoids
  2. Carotenoids
  3. Beta Carotene
  4. Vitamin E
  5. Vitamin C
  6. Betacyanin
  7. Bioflavonoids
  8. Apigenin
  9. Isothiocyanates
  10. Pectin


This is a very large family of antioxidants which makes them the easiest ones to include in your diet. You may even have heard of them but not realized they were called flavonoids. Isoflavones and anthocyanidins are perhaps the ones we mention most often, but other such as flavonols and flavanones are also part of the group.


Don’t get confused with carcinogens which are harmful substances which cause disease. Carotenoids are red and yellow pigments found in plants and flowers.  They neutralize free radicals but are also thought to have many other health benefits.

Beta Carotene

Beta-carotene is a very specific antioxidant which is part of the carotenoids group. However, it is a very important one. It can help to protect against the effects of aging and can be turned into vitamin A by the body. If you would like to protect your skin from UV rays, it is the one antioxidant which you can’t get enough of on a daily basis. And yes, beta-carotene can make your skin go darker.

The orange color of beta-carotene is a real summer color and is easy to use when you would like to create vegan easy summer meals. Raw foods salads are great when it comes to increasing your intake of antioxidants and they will also taste great when it comes to your summer vegan dinner party. Carrots are not the only plant based summer foods where you will find beta-carotene. You will also find it on orange bell peppers, melons,  and squashes.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is not just one vitamin.  It is, in fact, a whole group of antioxidants compounds. Vitamin E has strong links to the protection of the heart and the rest of the circulatory system. In fact, we need a high level of vitamin E, so it could be a good idea to invest in a quality supplement.

Summer is the best time to increase your intake of vitamin E. Add nuts such as walnuts to your cold vegan summer recipes and you will soon taste the difference to your salads. Vegan meals for hot days should be packed with healthy fresh ingredients. For someone who is new plant based summer foods, fresh ingredients can make a huge difference.

Vitamin C

What would we do without vitamin C? It can help to protect us against infections but few of us it helps to produce a neurotransmitter called noradrenaline which helps to regulate blood flow and the sleep hormone serotonin.


Betacyanin can be found in beetroot. In recent years, we have started to study this vegetable which is both disease resistant and can help to preserve. It is a natural food preservative and additive to meat. If you see the chemical number E162 on your food packaging you don’t need to worry. It is in fact betacyanin.  This antioxidant which can help to prevent cancers such as prostate cancer, and cardiovascular disease.


If we don’t get enough bioflavonoids, the vitamin C we digest can’t function properly. It is the perfect example of one antioxidant working with another one. Grapefruit is packed with bioflavonoids which can help to break down fat and prevent a range of common health problems. Rutin is one of the most active antioxidants in this group.


This antioxidant deserves a special mention. It can be found in most fruit and vegetables but is parsley is nature’s richest natural source. Apigenin seems to have many exciting qualities including cell repair, and some sort of system which seems to deal with the toxins we have in our bodies. Lots of research is needed but parsley should certainly be part of your plant based summer recipes.


A recently discovered group of plant chemicals which strengthen the body’s defenses and helps it to fight disease. You will find them in cruciferous vegetables. We often think of cruciferous vegetables as winter foods, but there is no reason why you should not include them in your plant based summer foods.


Pectin is a fiber that works as an antioxidant. Apples are packed with pectin, but it is present in other fruits and vegetables. It has the ability to strengthen the cell wall and is thought to fight off a range of serious health conditions and is fantastic for balancing cholesterol.

Eating With the Seasons

Eating with the seasons is something we used to do. But now when supermarkets stock everything all of the time, the concept has gone out of the window. However, we should be taking a different look at the eating with the seasons. For instance, locally produced plant based summer foods are much richer in antioxidants than supermarket foods which have been stored for a long time. Did you know that your average supermarket apple may have been stored for six months before it even reaches your supermarket? Surely vegan summer dinner recipes should be based on freshness?

When you have a little bit more experience of the best antioxidants in the world, you may just want to start to create your own vegetarian dinner recipes. Remember that your vegan summer dinner party menu should be as simple as possible. After all, you want to enjoy the company of your guests and spread the word about the best plant based antioxidants in the world.

Plant Based Summer Recipes are Easy to Create

Healthy plant based summer recipes are easy to put together. Do you know why? Antioxidants have their own color codes. In other words, if you would like to add more of a certain antioxidant to your plant based summer recipes, you just look for the right color.  Some fruit and vegetables are richer in certain antioxidants than others. The intense orange color of papaya indicates it is packed with beta-carotene, but at the same time, the fruit contains vitamin C and flavonoids.

Finding the right fruit and vegetables for your healthy summer plant base summer foods receipes is easy. All you need to do is to check out what colors are available at your supermarket or local farmer’s market.

Flavonoids are red and purple

Cartenoids can be found in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables

Beta-carotene vary from red to orange

Vitamine E is reddish brown, and Kumatos are packed with vitamin E

Vitamin C found in oranges, for example, is yellow and orange. Don’t forget vitamin C can be found in apples as well.

Betacyanin in beetroot is purple

Bioflavonoids such as rutin are yellow

Isothiocyanates come in various shades of yellow

Pectin found in apples is white to golden

Why do the colors vary? Fruit and vegetables take all of their nutrients from the soil, water and sun. Depending on the local growing conditions, the colors may vary a little bit. For instance, if a plant receives less sun one summer, it may produce less of one particular antioxidant.


Summer is the best time to enjoy more raw plant based foods. It is warmer outside so you don’t feel you need to eat warm food all of the time. But, there is no need for you to enjoy any ingredients which you may already have in your larder. Plant based summer foods will go great with many of the things you will already have in your larder.

A Papaya Smoothie Bowl

Do you have a busy day ahead? If you have a busy day ahead you may want to enjoy a breakfast which will give you energy and boost your antioxidant levels at the same time. Our recipe includes everything you need to start your day the right way.

This is what you need for this recipe:

One pot of unsweetened yogurt

One papaya

One Cup of oats

Papayas tend to contain rather a lot of water, so you don’t need to worry about adding any other liquids to this recipe. If you like to make it a little bit sweeter consider adding some organic natural honey.

Peel and remove the seeds from the papaya and place in a blender. Add the oats and yogurt, and whizz around for a few minutes. The end result will be a smooth creamy mix which you will be tempted to eat directly from the blender. Place it in a bowl and eat with a glass of water or tea. This recipe is so packed with healthy with antioxidants you don’t need anything for breakfast.

Top Vegan Meals for Hot Days

What are some of the meals that you should consider for simple vegetarian summer dinners? Here are some examples for your plant based summer menu.

  • Gazpacho soup – this is much easier to make that you can possibly imagine
  • Bean and lentil burgers – Have you ever made your own? It must be one of the summer’s easiest recipes to make.
  • Sprout salads – Why not introduce your guests to the health benefits of sprouts?
  • Smoothies and Juices – Instead of serving alcohol and your party, why not serve up delicious smoothies based on raw summer recipes.
  • Dips – there is nothing like vegan dips to convert meat lovers to healthy plant based summer foods
  • Make a vegan banana ice cream – no shop bought ice cream here!
  • Homemade vegan curries – Indian vegetarian dinner recipes are always popular at dinner parties. However, don’t forget to include less spicy easy vegan recipes as well. Not everyone likes spicy food

There are thousands of easy plant based summer foods recipes you can make in your own home.  It does not have to take a long time to prepare for your summer vegan dinner party.

Melons Contain Some of the Best Plant Based Antioxidants in the World

You simply must include melons in your plant based summer food recipes. There is a range of melons from the juice watermelon to the horned melon. Take a little bit closer look at melons, and you will find they come in many different colors. As we have just learned, all of those colors represent various antioxidants. Are they all as healthy? Melons are healthy, but try to get hold of melons which have not been grown hydroponically. They are packed with nutrition and you should include them in your plant based summer recipes.

Freezing Your Plant Based Summer Foods

If you find a plenty full surprise of locally grown plant based summer foods, it is a good idea to stock up your freezer. Fresh summer food will stay more nutritious even after it has been frozen.

Would you like the best advice on how to freeze your summer foods?

  1. Invest in silicone food bags which are BPA plastic free. This means your fruit and vegetables are not going to pick up any nasty chemicals during the storage process.
  2. Process your own food. When you get home with your fresh plant based summer foods, get the family together and help you to process them. This may mean doing a lot of peeling, but don’t throw anything out. That is gold you would be throwing out, and learning how to recycle food waste is more important now than ever.
  3. Clean everything before you put in your silicon bags. It is easy. Simply place all of the foodstuffs in a large pot of cold water, and then transfer it to your bags. This is vital when you are preparing soft fruits such as raspberries which can contain creepy crawlies.
  4. If you have have been foraging for foods, make sure you inspect what you have foraged. Blueberries and other summer berries may start to rot quickly on a hot summer’s day. Discard all of the forage finds which do not look healthy and put them on the compost heap.
  5. Freeze your plant based summer foods as quickly as you can. Don’t forget that food bag size is important. You never want to take out more food than you need at any one time.

Where to Find Plant Based Summer Foods?

Where are the best places to find summer foods? If you are not growing your own fruit and vegetables, you will have to buy your food. Check out small home growers in your area. Someone may love to grow melons and want to sell them at a low cost to sustain their hobby. Make sure the fruits are good quality to eat immediately or to preserve for a later date.

Foraging for foods is a fantastic alternative. Not only is not going to cost you anything, but it is fun for the entire family to go out and forage for food. Good summer fruits include blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries. They are expensive in the shops during the cold part of the year so why not make the most out of your free supply.

Did you know that mushrooms are nature’s richest source of the antioxidants ergothioneine and glutathione? Both of these antioxidants have amazing anti-aging properties and freeze well. Of course, you can also preserve them in many other ways.

Farmers markets are another place to find plant based summer foods. Make sure that they have been grown organically before you buy. You don’t want to ruin your healthy antioxidant lifestyle by adding pesticides to your diet.

You don’t need to turn to exotic fruit and vegetables to find the best plant based antioxidants in the world. Even the humble carrot is packed with beta-carotene, and you can grow carrots in your own backyard. If you have enough space in your yard, you can also grow raspberries and other plant based summer foods. Creating your own plant based summer recipes are as easy as our Papaya Breakfast Bowl. The taste comes from the freshness and the fresher your food is, the more antioxidants you will get for free.  What could be better than that? I can’t think of anything.

Marianna Eldridge

Hi i'm Marianna!

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