An antioxidant is “a substance that inhibits oxidation, especially one used to counteract the deterioration of stored food products.” (1)
So why are they important?
Humans have both free radicals and antioxidants in their body. Having free radicals in our bodies isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it can become a problem when we increase don’t have enough antioxidants in our bodies through proper nutrition and increase our exposure to toxins.
Now the word antioxidant can include a lot of different things and there are a few ways to define it but some of the popular antioxidants you may be familiar with are:
- lycopene found in tomatoes
- beta-carotene and other carotenoids found in carrots
- vitamin C found in red bell peppers
- selenium found in brazil nuts
- quercetin found in leafy greens
What are the benefits?
Different antioxidants have different benefits but some of them include but are not limited to:
- eye health
- protecting against cancer
- skin health
- heart health
- thyroid health
- decrease inflammation in the body
Do I have to spend a lot of money on antioxidants to be healthy?
The answer is no! Although some antioxidant-rich foods are more expensive like goji berries, there are some foods like blackberries, blueberries and dark chocolate which are high in antioxidants as well!
Other foods that contain antioxidants
- nuts and seeds
- sweet potatoes
- and many more!