Antioxidants are substances that our bodies use to slow oxidative damage to our bodies. Basically when our cells use oxygen, which is all day-every day, they naturally produce oxidants or free radicals (think of them as by-products). Just as oxidation causes rust and breaks down metals, oxidants in the body cause the cells to breakdown. Antioxidants work as scavengers for these by-products, binding to them and lessening damage done by them and even reversing damage that has already been done. Free radicals can also be caused by stress, polluted environments, smoking, sun bathing, etc.
Recently there has been a marketing push for antioxidant rich berries including acai, goji, wolfberries and choke berries. Not sure where you shop, but I have never seen any of those berries at my local grocery store. Luckily wild blueberries are a close second and cultivated blueberries aren’t far behind. Other antioxidant rich food sources include cranberries, blackberries, strawberries, carrots and spinach to name just a few.
If you are getting an adequate amount of fruits and veggies (5-9 servings) in your daily diet, you are probably getting your daily dosage of antioxidants. Since different foods offer different antioxidants, make sure you eat a variety of colors and types of fruits and veggies.
Be Healthy. Be Balanced.
-Alicia and Nikki