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What are antioxidants that you speak of?

Updated: Apr 5

Antioxidants. A word many of us have heard of or seen somewhere on a food package or in some health blog ( haha). But what the heck are they?

Well by definition and scientific breakdown, they are compounds that inhibit a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals and contribute to cell damage and oxidative stress in the body. This chemical reaction is called oxidation. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to cells, proteins, and DNA, potentially leading to various health problems, including chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and neurodegenerative disorders.


How do they work?


Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by donating electrons. Through this donation, they stabilize them and prevent them from causing damage to cells. They play a crucial role in maintaining cellular health and protecting the body from oxidative damage.

Examples:

There are many different types of antioxidants, including vitamins (such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin A), minerals (such as selenium and zinc), and phytochemicals (such as flavonoids, polyphenols, and carotenoids) found in various plant-based foods.


Benefits:

Antioxidants are naturally present in a wide range of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and other plant-based foods. Eating a diet rich in antioxidant-containing foods is associated with numerous health benefits, including reduced inflammation, improved immune function, and a lower risk of chronic diseases.


Foods rich in antioxidants:


  1. Fruits: Many fruits are rich in antioxidants. Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are particularly high in antioxidants and low in sugar. Other antioxidant-rich fruits to keep in mind are apples, oranges, grapes, cherries, and pomegranates.

  2. Vegetables: Colorful vegetables are often high in antioxidants. Ones to keep in mind are spinach, kale, broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and beets. Think of "taste the rainbow" when it comes to your bowels at mealtime.

  3. Nuts and Seeds: Certain nuts and seeds are excellent sources of antioxidants, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds.

  4. Whole Grains: Whole grains such as oats, quinoa, brown rice, and barley contain antioxidants, along with other beneficial nutrients. There is so many ways to incorporate these grains in your meals whether it is from breakfast, lunch or dinner, these are staples especially in plant-based diets.

  5. Legumes: This category of foods are made up by beans, lentils, and peas. They are a good sources of antioxidants ( and you also get fiber and protein on top of that, it's a win win!).

  6. Herbs and Spices: Many herbs and spices that you may already be using in your routine can contain antioxidants. Examples include cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, oregano, cloves, and parsley.

  7. Beverages: Certain beverages, such as green tea and coffee, contain antioxidants. Red wine, in moderation, also contains antioxidants, particularly resveratrol found in grape skins.

  8. Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, particularly flavonoids. Choosing options with a higher cocoa content will ensure for the most antioxidant benefits.


By incorporating some of these antioxidant-rich foods into your diet can help provide your body with the necessary nutrients to combat oxidative stress and support overall health.

What are some of your good to foods that bring you peace, prosperity and oxidation?

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