Everyone talks about antioxidants, but what are they and why do we need them? Antioxidants are important because they help combat free radical damage and oxidization in the body, which promote aging.
Registered dietician Daniella Cohn explained, “Antioxidants limit the amount of oxidative stress through a variety of different means, thereby limiting the risk of diseases such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and many other health problems that free radicals have been linked to.”
You would think that the more antioxidants you consume, the better your health will be, but it isn’t quite that simple. Yes, we need antioxidants in our body, but we aren’t fully aware of the full benefits of high amounts of antioxidants.
Chef Joshua Korn explained, “There is a point of too much antioxidants, especially if you are taking high doses of one specific antioxidant, such as vitamin C or beta-carotene. Be careful with taking antioxidants in the form of supplements, and aim to ingest your antioxidants from food sources, particularly from fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices.”
To get a healthy dose of antioxidants in your body and daily life, add these foods to your diet.
Top Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Wild blueberries: Blueberries help increase serum antioxidant levels.
Beets: Beets have been shown to have promising benefits in combating oxidative stress.
Red cabbage: The antioxidant anthocyanins found in red cabbage has been linked to youthful blood vessels and a reduced risk of heart disease.
Dark chocolate: Antioxidants absorb better when consumed with a fat, which are both present in dark chocolate.
Matcha and green tea: Matcha and green tea have been consumed for centuries to promote liver, immunity, and liver health.
Sea buckthorn: In Chinese medicine, sea buckthorn is hailed for its pain relieving, cough suppressant, and expectorant properties. It is a common remedy for the cold and flu.
Sangre de Grado: Popular in Peru, Sangre de Grado is high in antioxidants and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which may aid in the healing of wounds.
Salmon: Packed with omegas and other antioxidants, consuming salmon may aid in preserving eye health along with muscle tissue repair.
Sweet potato: Sweet potatoes support the immune system along with skin health.
Mushrooms: Although not as bright and vibrant as other antioxidant-rich foods, mushrooms are a great source of antioxidants, especially for the skin.
Coffee: Coffee is high in chlorogenic acid, which aids in healthy cholesterol levels.