There’s a whole lot of talk about antioxidants out there, and while we know that they’re supposed to be healthy for us, many don’t know what they actually are! I’m going to break down what antioxidants purpose is, their function in our bodies, and some foods and supplements that are loaded with them!
Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable atoms that damage our cells and cause illness and aging. Although our bodies are equipped with antioxidant defenses, there are also foods that contain certain vitamins with effective antioxidants! Free radicals would run rampant in the body if it weren’t for antioxidants. There are a number of factors that can promote an excess of free radicals within the body, some of these include:
- Alcohol and smoking
- High blood sugar
- Air pollutants
- Industrial chemicals
While it’s important to be mindful of these environmental, physical, and emotional factors, it’s also necessary to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and whole foods into our diet. Adequate antioxidant intake is important for our bodies to thrive and feel their best! Our lives actually depend on certain vitamins that provide antioxidants like Vitamin C and Vitamin E. I am going to list 10 foods that can you can try adding more of into your lifestyle for a boost of antioxidants! The best part about some of the foods that I am about to list is that they are high in antioxidants, and so delicious! It really shouldn’t be a challenge to start adding more of these amazing foods to your day to feel better and do better for your body.
1) Blueberries: These deliciously small and mighty berries are known to have one of the highest antioxidant levels in fruits or veggies! They’re known as the “King of Antioxidants,” and for a good reason. A one-cup serving of blueberries contains Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Manganese, and Fiber! Blueberries make a great snack or addition to smoothies, another bonus is that they’re low in calories but high in nutrients!
2) Dark chocolate: Can I get an amen to this one?! Name me a person who doesn’t like chocolate..it’s seriously hard to find! Dark chocolate contains antioxidants called flavonoids, which provide several health benefits. This compound helps to fight off free radicals and prevent oxidative stress. It’s also rich in minerals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc which is perfect for that after-dinner dessert!
3) Spinach: This green vegetable is one of the best that you can incorporate into your diet. Full of fiber, and packed with Vitamins and minerals, spinach is amazing for the body and our health! Spinach has been shown to fight oxidative stress, making it a solid antioxidant. Some of my favorite ways to use spinach are adding it into a curry, putting a handful in my smoothies, or making it into a delicious salad!
4) Broccoli: What can’t broccoli do? It’s one of the healthiest foods on the planet hands-down! Broccoli contains measurable amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, which prevent damage to the eyes and may prevent oxidative stress. Some of the other health benefits you can expect from eating more broccoli include, better digestion, supported heart health, Vitamin C to boost the immune system, and much more!
5) Potatoes: I think potatoes get a really bad rap for no reason. In reality, potatoes are one of the best nutrient-dense vegetables you can eat! I’m not saying to go and eat ten plates of fries every day, but be mindful of how you cook and enjoy a potato to really reap all of its benefits. This vegetable contains Vitamin C but also phenols, carotenoids, flavonoids, and anthocyanin compounds which are all fantastic for our health!
6) Green tea: You may have already heard about the number of health benefits that green tea provides such as improved brain function, increased fat burn, better breath, and anti-aging effects. What you may not have known is that green tea is an excellent source of powerful antioxidants! Research has actually linked green tea compounds with a reduced risk of certain kinds of cancer. Drink away!
7) Coffee: I’m sure there will be many people happy to hear about this! Your favorite morning beverage actually provides antioxidants called quinines, which become more potent after roasting. It’s actually one of the highest sources of antioxidants in the Western diet since so many people consume coffee on a daily basis! Coffee is actually linked to a reduced risk of many diseases such as liver cirrhosis, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.
8) Beans: This might be an unexpected one to hear about, but beans are definitely a good source of antioxidants! Beans are an amazing plant-based food to start using more of in your daily life because they’re high in fiber, provide protein, and they’re an excellent source of carbs. Beans can often be used as a meat substitute. Just half a cup of small red beans have 13727 antioxidants per serving!
9) Strawberries: This sweet and delicious fruit is so nutrient-dense and amazing for you! To put its vitamin content into perspective, just eight strawberries provide more vitamin C thann one whole orange. Strawberries also have high levels of polyphenols which is an antioxidant that occurs in other foods such as herbs, olives, and other berries!
10) Walnuts: These nuts have the highest antioxidant activity of any other common nut. This comes from Vitamin E, melatonin, and polyphenols which come from their skin. Walnuts are such a delicious snack and even a plant-based source of omega 3-s, with a wide range of other health benefits!
I don’t know about you but after going through that list of food, I am starting to feel hungry! It’s pretty amazing to think about all of the delicious and natural fruits and vegetables we are blessed to have on our planet. All the vitamins we need to thrive can be found in food or can be supplemented with easily. I understand it’s not always easy for many to have access to all of these vegetables and fruits. We highly suggest visiting our website to look through our range of products that also offer a good amount of antioxidants and vitamins you need to feel your best! Remember, health is wealth, and it’s important to take care of our bodies.