What Are Antioxidants and Are They Beneficial to My Health?
Most people have heard the term “antioxidants.” They often associate the term with healthy nutrition and good diets.
Still, many individuals do not understand what antioxidants are or the specific health benefits that they can offer. Below, we will discuss some of the most important information surrounding the health benefits of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are a type of molecule. These molecules combat free radicals inside of your body. A “free radical” is a compound with the potential to harm your health. Free radicals perform crucial biological functions.
If the levels of free radicals in your body are too high, however, you will be at greater risk for many types of diseases. Some examples include:
- Heart disease
- And more
The human body naturally produces some antioxidants to prevent excessive levels of free radicals. However, you can also increase the antioxidants in your body by eating certain foods. The foods and beverages with the highest antioxidant levels are vegetables, fruits, and plant-based unprocessed foods.
You can also increase your antioxidant levels with vitamin supplements. Vitamins C and E are particularly rich in antioxidants.
Ensuring an Antioxidant-Rich Diet
The most prevalent source of antioxidants in the American diet is coffee. This says more about the average U.S. diet than it does about antioxidant levels in coffee!
Most people in the U.S. do not eat enough antioxidant-rich foods. Plants contain antioxidants when they are alive to maintain their health. A diet full of plant-based whole foods is rich in antioxidants.
Fish and meats contain fewer antioxidants than plant-based foods. Antioxidants are also sometimes added to foods as a type of preservative. Some of the most common foods known for containing high levels of antioxidants include:
- Green tea
- Fresh berries
- Dark chocolate
Antioxidant intake through fresh fruits and vegetables is key for maintaining good health and wellness. These molecules are crucial for reducing the risk of diseases. Enjoying a delicious and antioxidant-rich, plant-based diet will encourage your body to remain vibrant and healthy.