Antioxidants: What Are They?

June 7, 2021

Antioxidants: What Are They?

We know antioxidants are good for our bodies, but why? And how do we get them?

Stress. Environment. Chemicals. Food additives. These are some examples of pollutants that can all cause damage to our body cells and tissues in the form of “free radicals.” Free radicals are cells that can lead to oxidative damage. This simply means that the pollutant cells are highly reactive with oxygen on a molecular level, stealing energy and resources from healthy cells causing changes to their structure and function. This “stealing” of energy and resources from healthy cells can cause chronic inflammation and irritation. In turn, leading to the breakdown of healthy cellular structure, unless their progression is countered by antioxidants.

Antioxidants help move energy and resources around in the body in a way that helps prevent the reaction that can occur between free radicals and oxidative damage. We can get antioxidants easily from our diet in the form of fruits and vegetables which are high in phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are “plant nutrients.” They are the compounds of fruits and vegetables that give them their colours, smell, and taste. In addition, they have many health-promoting properties and benefits such as:

  • Antioxidant & anti-inflammatory qualities
  • Providing support & protection to tissues

So, what are some sources of antioxidant-rich foods?

  • Fruit Sources:
    Citrus Fruits (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits)
    Papayas
    Cantaloupes
    Strawberries
  • Vegetable Sources:
    Peppers (red & green)
    Broccoli
    Brussels sprouts
    Tomatoes
    Asparagus
    Parsley
    Dark leafy greens (spinach & kale)
    Green peas
    Cucumber
  • Grains, seeds, & nuts sources:
    Safflower oil
    Almonds
    Sunflower seeds

About the Author

Randi Ernst

Holistic Nutrition (auto-immune & gut health) Holistic and Sports Nutrition General Nutrition Personalized balance - body, mind, spirit General Nutrition and Meal Plans Digestive Health Eating well on a budget Integrative Preventative Care Adult Health and Wellness

Calgary Canada

Hi. Hey. Hello. My name is Randi. I am a Licensed Practical Nurse in Alberta, Canada with primary experience in Adult Addictions & Mental Health....

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