The Many Benefits of Antioxidants: What You Need To Know

Antioxidants have become one of the most buzzed-about topics in the health world, and for a good reason: they offer tremendous potential benefits. From boosting immunity to preventing cancer and heart disease, antioxidants are essential nutrients that can help keep your body healthy.

Getting the Most Out of Antioxidants

Everyone knows that antioxidants are good for you, but many people don’t know how to get the most out of them. The first step is to understand how they work.

Next, find out which foods and supplements contain the most antioxidants. Finally, it’s helpful to have a plan for incorporating antioxidants into your daily routine.

What Are They and What Do They Do?

Antioxidants are compounds your body naturally makes that are essential for optimal health. They scavenge harmful toxins and byproducts produced when the body converts food into energy.

These byproducts, called free radicals, can damage cells and DNA, leading to more severe health issues. Antioxidants protect cells from this damage by neutralizing  free radicals.

Are All Antioxidants Created Equal?

Most people think all antioxidants are the same, but this is not the case. Some antioxidants are more effective than others at protecting cells, preventing disease, and promoting good health. 

Antioxidants are essential for good health and play a significant role in disease prevention. There are thousands of antioxidants found in nature, but scientists have only identified and studied a few dozen.

Scientists rely on several tests that measure the antioxidant content of foods. The ferric-reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) analysis is one of the best tests to determine how well the antioxidant content can neutralize a specific free radical. [1]

Foods with a high FRAP value contain more antioxidants. Some of the most potent antioxidants include vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and lycopene.

What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough?

When the body does not have enough antioxidants, it may lead to cell damage. Cell damage can lead to various health problems, so it’s essential to ensure you’re getting enough antioxidants in your diet.

When you don’t get enough antioxidants, you can increase your risk of:

  • Cancer
  • Premature aging
  • Heart disease
  • Age-related eye problems

A lack of antioxidants can also lead to a weakened immune system, which makes fighting off even the common cold more difficult. [2]

Is There Such A Thing As Too Much?

Consuming large doses of antioxidants, specifically in the form of supplements, may do more harm than good. [3] At high concentrations, substances that generally behave as antioxidants can instead harm your health.

Supplementing with high doses of beta-carotene may increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers, while supplementing with high amounts of vitamin E may increase the chances of stroke or prostate cancer.

It’s important to note that these risks are typically associated with taking supplements rather than consuming more foods that are naturally rich in antioxidants. [4,5]

The Benefits of Antioxidants

Antioxidants help protect your cells from the damaging effects of oxidation. There are many different types of antioxidants, each with its benefits.

Chronic oxidative stress has been linked to the development of many diseases. Consuming an antioxidant-rich diet can help increase your blood levels to fight oxidative stress and reduce the risk of:

  • Developing cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Inflammation
  • Type 2 diabetes

Antioxidants also help reduce symptoms of arthritis [6] and improve mental function and memory. Although your body can naturally produce some antioxidants, the rest must be obtained through food.

Please keep reading to see the variety of antioxidant-rich foods available and a few simple ways to incorporate more of them into your daily life.

How Can You Get More Antioxidants in Your Diet?

Eating more fruits and vegetables is the easiest way to increase your antioxidant intake. The USDA recommends that adults consume between two to three cups of fruit and two to three cups of veggies daily. With some planning, ensuring you get enough antioxidants in your day shouldn’t be challenging.

Some of the best antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies are:

  • Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and goji berries
  • Artichokes, tomatoes, beets, and red cabbage
  • Orange vegetables

Other potent sources of antioxidants include pecans, dark chocolate, seeds, whole grains, and beans. 

Here are a few more ideas for adding more antioxidants to your diet.

#1 Go Green…Leafy Green

Some people like to eat more dark, leafy greens, while others prefer to drink fruit and vegetable juices, which are also high in antioxidants.

Leafy greens have a high concentration of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, making them some of the most nutritious plant foods we can eat.

Kale or spinach (both rich in antioxidants) can be tossed into a smoothie, added to a burger at a BBQ, or mixed in with a soup.

#2 Spice Up Your Meals

You can always cook with herbs and spices. Spices do more than make everything taste better; they also contain antioxidants.

If you like spicy foods, you may already consume more antioxidants than you think.

If you are prone to cooking without seasonings, it might be a good idea to spice up your meals a little.

#3 Drink Up

Coffee and certain teas are full of powerful antioxidants, so it may be a good idea to have a second cup if you usually have one. Caffeine often gets a bad rap, but it’s not all that bad for most people.

Nevertheless, you can try a decaffeinated or naturally caffeine-free beverage, like tea or Pepper Bru™ Lemon, if you struggle with caffeine.

Is There A Caffeine Free Energy Drink?

Caffeine free energy drinks don’t always taste the best. Now there’s a new all natural energy drink that will release the fire inside. Our high energy juice has no caffeine and no added sugars.  It’s full of essential vitamins, minerals, and enough capsaicin to keep you honest.

Pepper Bru Lemon™ is a healthy energy drink that contains a uniquely perfect blend of Habanero peppers, lemons, ginger, honey, and immunity-boosting vitamins like vitamins A and C. 

Brewed like tea, Pepper Bru™ Lemon can be enjoyed warm or cold for a natural energy boost without the crash. Improve your health by replacing one coffee daily with Pepper Bru™ Lemon – our spicy, caffeine free energy drink.