You’ve probably heard a lot about antioxidants as many things from beauty products to berries seem to be bursting with them. While you probably know that they’re good for you, you also probably have little to no idea why.
Luckily, we’ve got all the answers you need for how they work as well as the foods that are filled with them. Here’s what you need to know.
What are Antioxidants?
To put it simply, antioxidants are the molecules that fight free radicals in the body. These free radicals are constantly being formed in your body as a product of other processes. While you want some free radicals in your body to be used by immune cells to fight off disease, too many can cause oxidative stress which can lead to DNA damage and illness. So, it’s important to make sure you’re getting plenty of antioxidants on board to keep free radicals at a healthy level.
Antioxidants can be found in a whole host of different foods such as fruit and vegetables and vitamins C and E are also antioxidants.
Benefits of Antioxidants
At a glance, antioxidant can help:
- To give you healthier, younger looking skin;
- Reduce the risk of cancerous cells spreading;
- Slow the aesthetic signs of aging that you will see in your skin and eyes (such as cataracts), as well as ageing to your body such as having weaker joints, and heart troubles;
- Reduce the risk of dementia and strokes.
Different antioxidants will benefit different parts of your body in the aforementioned ways.
- Beta-carotene is good for your eyes and the prevention of cataracts.
- Lycopene is effective in maintaining a healthy prostate.
- Flavonoids favour your heart.
- Proanthocyanidins are good for your urinary tract.
- Astaxanthin and Spirulina have been proven to enhance your immune system, and to protect cell membranes and cellular DNA from mutation.
- Astaxanthin is the single most powerful quencher of singlet oxygen, and is up to ten times stronger than other carotenoids (including beta-carotene), and up to 500 times stronger than alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E).
- Spirulina has a variety of antioxidants and other substances that are beneficial in boosting immunity.
High Antioxidant Foods
Getting a good balance of antioxidants in your body through what you eat can help with the detrimental effect on your health from things like smoking, drinking, drugs, medication and chemicals, along with too much sun exposure and too much stress.
Your body makes its own antioxidants, such as glutathione. You can find them in most animal and plant-based food sources, but pound for pound, the best high antioxidant natural food sources include:
- Goji berries
- Wild blueberries
- Dark chocolate
- Kidney beans
Because these are a high antioxidant source when consumed in larger portions, you may well find it more reasonable, both in terms of money and appetite, to eat better known household favourites including:
- Dark chocolate
- Sweet potatoes
Medical experts suggest that as part of a healthy balanced diet, you ought to get four portions of antioxidant foods throughout your day. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to eat it all, either. Fruit smoothie blends containing the aforementioned berries will give you one of your essential doses. But how else can you ensure you are getting all that you need?
Supplementing your antioxidant means that you know for a fact that your body is getting precisely what it needs. Here are our top choices:
- Fruit Superfood Blend is our blend of various fruits and vegetables in the form of freeze dried and filtered fruit and vegetable powders. The very wide-ranging selection of fruits and veg and high vitamin C content is a mighty antioxidant ally in the protection of cells from oxidative stress.
- Alpha Lipoic Acid is a powerful antioxidant that you can consume in single capsule form with meals.
- Vitamin C Plus is a sure and simple, and tested way to combat oxidative stress by ensuring that you get your vitamin C with these handy water-soluble gems.