The Fight Against Free Radicals: The Super Power of Antioxidants
We know we should be eating more fruits and vegetables. After all, good health depends on it. What you may not be aware of is if you’re not getting enough, oxidative stress could be negatively affecting your health.
Although oxidation is a normal chemical process that occurs in the body, it can be made worse by consuming too much alcohol, being stressed and smoking. Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals and antioxidants are out of balance. The problem is that free radicals can cause cell damage, which may result in health concerns.
So, what can we do? Unfortunately, we can’t completely avoid free radicals, but there are ways to limit our exposure. Making healthy choices such as limiting alcohol and not smoking are a great start and adding foods rich in antioxidants to fight free radicals is even better.
Benefits of Including a Variety of Antioxidant Foods in Your Diet
According to Joe Vinson, Ph.D., and chemistry professor at the University of Scranton, in Pennsylvania, since antioxidants work differently in the body, the best thing you can do is to focus on a diet filled with colorful fruits and vegetables. “Think of antioxidants as an army. You need generals, lieutenants, corporals, privates, and others with specific duties. You can’t fight an army with only generals.”
So, how can we get more antioxidants in our diets?
► Eat more berries. Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and cranberries can be added to salads, oatmeal and eaten as dessert.
► Enjoy other seasonal fruits. Apples, pears, bananas, peaches, cherries, mango, and other fruits all contain antioxidants and are delicious to boot.
► Include a variety of vegetables to your meals. Bell peppers, kale, broccoli, and tomatoes are easy to include in salads or eaten as a snack.
► Say yes to potatoes. Sweet potatoes are also a great choice and can be cooked in a variety of ways.
► Go nuts. Walnuts, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts and a variety of seeds are all great choices to add to meals or enjoy as a snack.
► Drink up! Tea, coffee, pomegranate juice, and red wine are all full of antioxidants.
► Dark chocolate! Enough said.
► If you don’t enjoy eating vegetables and fruits, consider taking supplements. They can ensure you’re getting what you need.
A diet full of antioxidant foods is a beneficial way to keep free radical in check and enjoy the health benefits of these delicious foods.
As with any health regimen, please be sure to consult with a nutritionally informed physician, prior to starting or stopping any new dietary changes.
Health & Wellness Writer Bio
Maria Pease is a freelance health & wellness content writer based in Southport, North Carolina. She has written about health & wellness for more than twenty-five years and has partnered with a variety of companies doing the most amazing work. She loves being able to write about health topics that can change lives for the better.