Everything You Need to Know About Antioxidants

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If you’re anything like the average health-conscious eater, you’re primed to reach for foods whose labels tell you they’re full of antioxidants, and you’ll even pay a premium because you prioritize your health. But truth be told, when your shopping partner asks why you’re eating for antioxidant content, your knowledge wears thin at “they’re good for you…” or “it helps prevent cancer…”

Have no shame in not recalling verbatim the benefits of antioxidants. When science and nutrition are not your second language, explanations of health benefits often go in one ear and out the other, leaving only a trail of memory that a particular ingredient is good for you.

Today, we will revisit the powerful chemical (*note* *chemical* *antioxidants are chemicals*) that is plentifully available in so many delicious foods, and that has a plethora of benefits to improve your quality of life.

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are chemicals that fight oxidation.

What is oxidation?

If you bite into a delicious apple and leave it out on the table without a cover, what happens? It turns brown. It loses electrons. It oxides. You no longer want to eat the apple.

The same process can happen at a cellular level in your body due to natural or external causes. While oxidation is not always destructive, you typically do not want your cells oxidizing and turning brown (metaphorically) like the once-desirable apple. When this happens (when your cells oxidize), the genetic material they contain gets damaged.

To combat oxidation, we can consume antioxidants which are (*quiz* *stated above*)… that’s right! Chemicals that prevent oxidation.

What do antioxidants do to your body?

Antioxidants fight free radicals. Free radicals are chemicals (*chemicals*) that your body makes as it processes toxins, sunlight, food, smoke, alcohol or pollution. Give your body an excess of any of these items, and the free radical production surges. If you don’t have enough antioxidants to fight the free radicals, your cells could oxidize.

Why do you need antioxidants?

By fighting the free radicals, antioxidants prevent oxidation, keeping cells and enzymes healthy and free from being destroyed.

What are some examples of antioxidants?

Flavonoids

  • Protect against heart disease, aging, arthritis, cancer, inflammation, memory loss, stroke, cataracts, and infection

Lycopene

  • Protects against cancers of prostate, breast, and lung

Vitamin E

  • Stops LDL cholesterol from hardening in arteries
  • Helps prevent cardiovascular disease

Selenium

  • Improve thyroid function
  • Protects against cancers of lung, prostate, and colon

Vitamin C

  • Prevents cancers of the lungs, digestive system, stomach

Beta-carotene

  • Transforms into retinol, which helps with vision

Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids

  • Protect against stroke, arthritis, heart disease, cataracts, and cancer
  • Improve eczema, psoriasis, and osteoporosis

Where can I get antioxidants?

The best place to fuel up on these nourishing chemicals is through foods in your daily diet, and typically through plant-based foods. Here are a few antioxidant-abundant foods and their benefits:

  • Whole grains: vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium
  • Vegetable oils: vitamin E, omega-6s
  • Nuts: vitamin E, omega-6s, omega-3s (walnuts)
  • Leafy greens: vitamin E
  • Green vegetables: vitamin C, beta-carotene
  • Tomatoes: vitamin C, lycopene
  • Citrus: vitamin C
  • Fruits: beta-carotene
  • Carrots: beta-carotene
  • Squash: beta-carotene
  • Seafood: selenium, omega-3s
  • Meat: selenium
  • Soybeans: selenium
  • Liver: selenium
  • Garlic: selenium
  • Onions: selenium
  • Green tea: flavonoids
  • Grapes: flavonoids
  • Red wine: flavonoids
  • Chocolate: flavonoids
  • Berries: flavonoids
  • Apples: flavonoids
  • Poultry: omega-6s
  • Salmon: omega-3s
  • Tuna: omega-3s
  • Sardines: omega-3s

Get antioxidants with AMP Floracel

Aloe vera has antioxidant and antibacterial properties that help fight free radicals and keep harmful bacteria from growing inside the body. Incorporate AMP Floracel aloe vera supplements into your day to get the most out of your diet.

Shop our products online, and start changing your life for the better, today!