Fact: It’s really hard eating a balanced meal. You might want to incorporate more nutrition to your snacks, or make some larger changes to improve your overall diet. Regardless of what you do, adding antioxidants to your diet is a good move.
Antioxidants are naturally occurring compounds found in vitamins and minerals that help the body fight against free radicals, the natural byproduct of food that turns into energy. Free radicals could damage the DNA structure, or oxidate stress, that could lead to disease.
Basically, when things oxidate, they will start to rust, and negatively affect the body. You might experience premature aging from these free radicals. When you remove the free radicals with antioxidants, you will help repair the DNA and increase better cell turnover.
The easiest way to get your antioxidants in is through food. Of course, if you wanted to take supplements you can, but antioxidants can easily be found in plants, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. 8 of the most powerful and effective antioxidants that we love are below.
Best found in tomatoes or other red and pink fruits, lycopene is anti-inflammatory, good for your heart, and provides optimal skin health.
Lutein can directly enhance eye and skin health. The antioxidant protects against sun damage to your skin and improves vision. Consume spinach, kiwis, grapes, zucchini, and other squash to get your required amount of lutein.
Turmeric lattes, supplements, or turmeric-flavored foods are a great source of curcumin, the potent anti-inflammatory antioxidant.
Vitamin E is the fat-soluble antioxidant destroys the creation of cell-damaging oxidative stress in the body that can lead to chronic diseases, like heart disease. Vegetable oils—like sunflower and safflower oils, nuts, and seeds—are the best sources of this important vitamin. You can also try avocados.
The holy grail of all antioxidants, Vitamin C helps balance the immune system, while neutralizing free radical molecules—protecting the body against oxidative damage. The best part, it’s found in most fruits and vegetables, as well as cacao!
Beta-cryptoxanthin is a great antioxidant that will improve eyesight, growth and development, and immune response. Which let’s be real, after a two year-long (and counting) pandemic of staring at screens for work, pleasure, and school, we aren’t rejecting what could improve our eyesight. Also, beta-cryptoxanthin is found in yummy fruits like papayas, peaches, and tangerines.
If you are into working out, you might want to incorporate quercetin into your diet. It’s known to improve exercise performance, reduce inflammation, and regulate blood pressure. They can be found in fruits, like apples and citrus, as well as parsley, sage, and red wine.
Selenium can improve your immune system functions, DNA synthesis, metabolism, and thyroid health. An easy way to get this essential antioxidant is through nuts, more specifically brazil nuts. If you don’t like nuts, it’s also in chicken, beef, and fish.
You have tons of options to improve your diet. Plus, experimenting in the kitchen can be a fun way to introduce new flavors to your palette, and relieve stress. Here’s some other essential vitamins and supplements to have on deck during the pandemic to help you boost your immune system.