What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules that defend your body from free radicals. Antioxidants are usually found in various food sources.
Free radicals are compounds that can cause damage in the body. You may see this referred to as ‘oxidative stress’, and it can be worsened by many lifestyle or environmental factors, including smoking, an unhealthy diet, and air pollution.
You can help reduce your exposure to excess free radicals by eating a healthy balanced diet (with plenty of antioxidant-rich foods) and taking regular exercise.
How can I add more antioxidants into my diet?
Your body has its own supply of antioxidants to fight excess free radicals, but antioxidants can also be found in various wholefoods, such as fruits and vegetables.
When you hear a food being referred to as a ‘superfood’ it’s usually because that food naturally contains high levels of antioxidants. Keep reading to learn about the most important sources of antioxidants, from fruit and vegetables, to drinks and vitamins.
Eating a varied selection of wholefoods, such as fruit, can give your body an extra dose of antioxidant power. But not all fruit is equal — some fruits contain more antioxidants than others. When it comes to antioxidant-rich fruits, berries lead the way. Most berries contain high levels of antioxidants, but those dark in colour are usually more antioxidant-rich.
What fruits are naturally high in antioxidants?
- Black elderberries
- Goji berries
You can add more berries to your diet by blending them into smoothie, adding them to your morning porridge, or simply eat as a healthy snack. Not a fan of berries? Try supplementing your diet with Tart Cherry Extract or Black Elderberry Gummies for a convenient antioxidant boost.
As with fruit, eating a variety of vegetables ensures you are consuming plenty of antioxidants through wholefoods. Brightly coloured vegetables tend to have more naturally occurring antioxidants than others, so try to include these in your diet where possible.
What vegetables are naturally high in antioxidants?
- Kale (especially red or purple kale)
- Red cabbage
Salads and smoothies are a great way to increase your veg intake — try adding one of these veggies to your next salad or throw some steamed beetroot into a fruit smoothie. Fussy eaters can always top up with Super Greens and Beetroot powders if needed — they can be added to any drink, but work especially well in smoothies or protein shakes.
Food isn’t the only way to get more antioxidants into your diet — some drinks are also known for their high levels of antioxidants. Tea and coffee are the obvious choices, but there are a couple of other options if you want to swap your daily brew for something different.
What drinks are naturally high in antioxidants?
Fancy trying some antioxidant-boosting drinks? Swap soft drinks for iced green tea — simply stew green tea in cold water, add ice, and fresh fruit, such as strawberries, for a hint of sweetness.
Matcha powder can be used to make frothy matcha lattes at home. Whisk milk (dairy or plant-based) and matcha powder together until combined, while heating gently, then use a milk-frother to create that café-style foam.
Likewise, turmeric powder can be used to make turmeric lattes or golden milk. Follow the steps above to try it for yourself — add a little cinnamon or ground black pepper for extra spice.
Is chocolate good for you?
Raw, unprocessed cacao beans actually contain very high levels of antioxidants. So, if you are going to enjoy chocolate, try eating high quality, dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa content —that means some of the antioxidant benefits will still be present.
Some vitamins, such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E, also act as a good source of antioxidants. It’s best to get your daily needs of essential nutrients from whole foods, but if you follow a restricted diet, or aren’t consuming enough vitamin-rich foods, it may be beneficial to take a dietary supplement. As well as containing antioxidants, Vitamin C supports your immune system and aids collagen formation, while Vitamin E may support healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Support your healthy lifestyle with antioxidants
Ready to start eating and drinking more antioxidants? Check out our range of antioxidant-boosting supplements, including vitamins, supplements, and food powders.