What is all that buzz about antioxidants?

You’ve seen it floating around everywhere – on packaging, commercials, the grocery store, and your local health enthusiast. However, there is a reason why it deserves all the hype. Antioxidants are essentially our bodies’ own superhero.

 

Every day, we are unintendedly exposed to threatful chemicals called free radicals. They come from environmental contact with cigarette smoke, pollution, or even from sunlight, exercise, and alcohol. We can hardly avoid free radicals, yet they have the ability to damage our bodies’ cell walls and DNA. An excessive chronic amount of free radicals in the body can lead to cell damage and chronic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

 

This is where antioxidants come in. They are compounds we consume through food, with certain antioxidant rich foods that contain more of them, that neutralize and remove the free-radicals in our bodies.  They are also involved in mechanisms that repair DNA and maintain the health of cells, acting as a powerful natural defense against the local environment.

 

You can quickly recognize and pick up antioxidants-rich foods in the whole foods section since antioxidants are naturally occurring. Namely, foods high in vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, and manganese are reliable choices. Berries, green tea, broccoli, and dark chocolate are renowned for being good sources of antioxidants.