Every single one of us has a combination of both free radicals and antioxidants present inside our bodies, some antioxidants are made from our bodies whilst others we get from our diets by eating antioxidant rich foods. Our bodies also produce free radicals as by-products of cellular, free radicals accumulate in the body due to oxidative stress, which can be caused by several different factors, e.g., diet and lifestyle. Over time, free radicals can cause cell damage and contribute to the development of chronic disease. When antioxidant levels in the body are lower than free radicals, oxidation (oxygen molecules travelling freely in the body – formation of free radicals) wreaks havoc in the body due to poor nutrition, toxin exposure, stress, or other factors. The westernized lifestyle is filled with processed foods, relying on medications and is highly exposed to chemicals or environmental pollutants – this way of living is the foundation for free radicals to proliferate, in other words, run our bodies.
So, what is an antioxidant and why are they important for us?
Antioxidants are important for our health in multiple ways, but one important function they take of well is inhibiting oxidation, helping to remove potential damage. Antioxidants include many food-based substances you may have heard of before, i.e., vitamin c and beta-carotene – these certain foods inhibit oxidation or reactions promoted by oxygen, peroxide and/or free radicals.
Where can you find these antioxidants?
Antioxidants may be easier to add to your diet then you think, here are some of the powerhouses…
- Goji Berries
- Wild Blueberries
- Dark Chocolate (75% above)
- Artichokes (boiled)
- Kidney Beans
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sweet Potato
- Wild-caught salmon
Consuming at least 3-4 servings daily of these antioxidant-rich foods will set you up in the right direction, hello optimal health.