In today’s diet and nutrition-obsessed consumer world, the word antioxidant seems to be enough to sell nearly any product, but in reality, these vitamins and nutrients go far beyond being a marketing ploy. Antioxidants are chemicals that can naturally occur in food or be reproduced, and they’re largely known for their ability to combat free radicals.
You’ll find most naturally occurring antioxidants in fresh fruits and vegetables, and they’re also found in green tea, which is one of the healthiest things you can drink, not just in terms of the presence of antioxidants, but also because it can boost your metabolism and help you slim down.
Along with green tea, some foods that are especially rich in antioxidants include berries, beans, grapes, nuts, dark green vegetables, sweet potatoes and other orange vegetables.
While you might already know antioxidants have health benefits, you may be wondering specifically how they can benefit your body.
- Heart Disease Prevention
While there isn’t a magic formula to protect against heart disease, there is some belief that antioxidants can be a crucial part of the equation. Along with having antioxidants, when you eat the foods rich in these compounds they also have other vitamins, fiber and minerals, all of which can contribute to better heart health. Additionally, the foods that are naturally rich in antioxidants also tend to be low in fat and calories, both of which are essential components of a heart-healthy diet.
- Glowing Skin
Healthy skin isn’t necessary only for vanity reasons. Your skin is exposed to damaging UV rays that can create serious and sometimes cancer-causing damage. Antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin E are great for protecting your skin against damage. You can find skincare products with antioxidants, but the most effective way to protect your skin and keep it looking healthy is to consume foods rich in these vitamins. Along the same lines, eating a diet packed with antioxidants can be great for delaying the signs of aging on your skin. Rather than going the cosmetic route, consider going with a healthier diet instead.
- Anti-Inflammatory Impact
Inflammation in the body is one of the leading risk factors for diseases including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s. By eating foods rich in antioxidants, like berries and green leafy vegetables, you may be able to prevent some inflammation and reduce your risk of certain diseases.
- Immune Boosters
Many essential vitamins including A, C and E are imperative for a strong immune system. These vitamins also happen to be considered antioxidants, so when you pack your diet with foods rich in them, you can help strengthen your immune system and protect against a wide range of illnesses.
- Improve Your Mood
If you find you’re frequently in a bad mood or feeling depressed, you might want to take a look at your diet, which can have a significant effect on your emotional wellbeing. We mentioned green tea at the start of this post, which is ideal for creating a sense of calm and relaxation, and other antioxidant powerhouses such as oranges, blueberries and kale can also aid in the production of serotonin, which plays a significant role in your mental health.
When you make antioxidants a regular part of your diet, you’ll likely see the many benefits. These foods are naturally healthy, often low in calories and can not just help you in the ways listed above, but can also give you more energy and help promote a better general sense of well-being.