Enter your email to get updates, tips and exercises to help you experience healing and transformation.
Antioxidants are substances found in food that are protective to your cells. Your cells are the foundation for all your bodily functions: metabolism, growth, repair, adaptability and reproduction. Our bodies have about 60 trillion cells. Together cells create tissues, such as muscle and skin. Organs, such as your liver and heart, are created from tissues.
Your cells burn oxygen for fuel. A byproduct of this fuel production is free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage your cells.
Other factors that can cause free radical formation include high intensity exercise, stress, pesticides and air pollution. Free radical damage within cells has been linked to physical and mental aging, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's disease.
Antioxidants neutralize the effect of free radicals. There are hundreds of these substances that occur naturally. Some are produced by your body; others must be obtained from food. Some antioxidants include Vitamins A, C and E, beta-carotene, magnesium, zinc, selenium, CoQ10, glutamine, and lipoic acid. Each of these substances has a unique function; they are not necessarily interchangeable.
Some foods and spices that contain high levels of antioxidants are: cayenne pepper, thyme, turmeric, rosemary, garlic, cloves, cinnamon, grapeseed extracts and green tea. Foods that contain high levels are blueberries, especially wild blueberries (bilberry), blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, cherries, grapes, kiwis, papayas and citrus fruits. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale are also good sources.