If you aren’t getting enough antioxidants in your diet, then it’s time to start. These indispensable nutrients offer a wealth of benefits, many of them long-term in nature. If you want to protect and nourish your body, ensuring that you focus on robust antioxidant sources in your meal planning is vital.
These potent substances are found naturally in many plant based foods like fruits and vegetables. They alter the oxidation process, which can be damaging on a molecular level. It’s a rather complex biological premise but the core idea is that free radicals cause issues when they overwhelm our cellular infrastructure. This leads to oxidative stress. Excessive oxidation can occur due to excessive sugar intake, bacteria in the body or exposure to pollutants in the air. Many scientists believe that the oxidative threat in our current environment is higher than at any time in the past.
Thus, seeking out the best antioxidant sources as an increasingly vital consideration. Finding a balance between free radicals and antioxidants is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
How Do I Know If I Need More Antioxidants?
There are a number of symptoms that can indicative oxidative stress in your body. Keep an eye out for the following signs:
- Vision troubles
- Physical fatigue
- Cloudy cognition and memory loss
- Muscle or joint pain
- Rapid onset skin aging
- Decrease in immune function
In the big picture, there is plenty of research suggesting that unchecked oxidative stress is a significant contributor to conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia, diabetes, chronic fatigue and cancer. Upping your antioxidant intake can bolster your defense against all of these outcomes. Plus, as you will see below, most antioxidant sources carry plenty of other wellness perks.
Best Antioxidant Sources
If you make sure to keep these antioxidant sources in your regular dietary rotation, then you’ll be putting yourself on the right track. Recently we listed some of the specific best antioxidants to target, and today we’ll go over the foods that prove to be heavy hitters in this department:
Dark Berries: Fruits such as blueberries and cranberries are full of helpful antioxidants. Boost your intake to protect against heart disease and cancer. These sweet and delicious treats also support strong immune function.
Spinach: This leafy green veggie is just generally one of the healthiest things you can eat. High antioxidant content is just one of its appeals. Kale and collard greens provide similar benefit, but we find spinach easiest to inject into everyday eating.
Nuts: Not only are they great omega-3 fatty acid sources, but snacks such as walnuts are also excellent targets for antioxidants and health-boosting phytochemicals. Keep a bag on hand throughout the day and grab a handful whenever you feel the hunger pangs. This contributes strongly to appetite control and weight loss.
Tea: When people say they want to find different methods to increase energy, we always point them to caffeinated teas. They are so much healthier than energy drinks or sugary coffee concoctions, and they also boast crucial antioxidants. A cup of green tea in the morning will perk you up mentally while also supporting your health.