You probably can’t go a whole day without hearing about antioxidants in one way or another. Yes, they are good for your health and everyone sings their praises…
But do you know why antioxidants are so important? How about the actual best ways to get the proper amount needed for maximum health benefits?
Why are antioxidants important?
When your body breaks down food, preservatives, and additives or is exposed to tobacco smoke, radiation or pollution, it creates molecules that are sort of a by-product of the break down. These molecules are called free radicals and they are harmful and act as a toxin in our body. Free radicals play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases as well as contribute premature signs of aging in the skin. However, antioxidants can protect your cells against the effects of free radicals!
Antioxidants basically stand in for your cells, allowing the free radicals to bind to them instead of your cells. They are then flushed away from your body.
What are the best types of antioxidants?
First, you need to know there are many types of antioxidants and some are more effective than others. For example, Glutathione is an antioxidant that has actually earned the name “Master Antioxidant” as it is highly effective in eliminating free radicals and boosting health at a cellular level. Taking a supplement that contains Glutathione is a simple way to insure a daily dose of a highly effective antioxidant.
Other vital antioxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene and Selenium.
An interesting fact about antioxidants is they all work in different ways. Some help inhibit the development of free radicals, some act as street sweepers moving through your body and “sweeping up” free radicals and others act to repair damaged cells. Isn’t biology a wonderful thing?
What are the best ways to get antioxidants daily?
Your body actually naturally produces some antioxidants, however, as you age this production decreases and if you are exposing your body to more toxins (due to poor diet or pollution where you live) your body will require additional support to be sure it has enough antioxidants to match the amount of free radicals present in your system.
Other than a dependable daily supplement like we mentioned above, the best way to keep yourself full of antioxidants is to eat some of the following antioxidant rich “superfoods” daily:
- Fruits such as strawberries, cranberries, grapes, blueberries and blackberries
- Walnuts and pecans
- Kale, broccoli and spinach
- Sweet potatoes and carrots
- Whole grains
- Green Tea
To answer a very popular question: Are wine and beer considered good sources of antioxidants?
Well, honestly, yes! Wine contains resveratrol and beer contains flavonoids, both of which are antioxidants. However, you can also get these same antioxidants from the list of healthy foods above!
So if saying that you are drinking wine or beer daily to get the health benefits from the antioxidants, don’t forget these drinks come with a longer list of negative health effects and you really aren’t doing yourself any favors. You are far better off eating from the list above or simply taking a daily supplement. Sorry to be a buzzkill but we want you to make the best health choices!
Antioxidants are vital to your health and so easy to consume, and hopefully you now you know why they are so important!