My antioxidant craze
I find myself constantly seeking out supplements, teas, facial serums, fruits, veggies, anything I can get in and on my body that will enhance my longevity. Not because I’m afraid to age, because I truly view age as a blessing – What a wonderful gift it is to turn one year older… it’s something to celebrate! But just because we grow older does not mean we can’t keep our bodies youthful. And thanks to antioxidants, longevity and youthfulness are possible!
How they work
Antioxidants aren’t just for improving appearance and wrinkles – they are useful in keeping all cells “young” and healthy, from the inside out. In fact, they are our main defense mechanism against chronic disease and aging. From the second we took our first breath, our cells became exposed to tiny, unstable molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are generated during natural cellular processes like turning food into usable energy. They are also created when we are exposed to toxins like UV rays, cigarette smoke, pollution, pesticides, alcohol, fried food, and water. Free radicals bounce around our bodies damaging our cells and causing oxidative stress. The long-term result is impaired cellular function, inflammation, aging, and disease. Just as iron rusts and avocados turn brown when exposed to oxygen, our cells essentially do the same thing.
Antioxidants are also naturally produced within our body. However, the amount of oxidative stress our bodies go through outweighs our antioxidants’ ability to keep up. This is why it’s important to supplement with antioxidant rich fruits, veggies, teas, and serums.
So here it is… My top three go-to antioxidants that I consume (serums and topicals will be the next post!)
To start… Purple EVERYTHING
First, and this kinda just blows my mind… Did you know that purple potatoes are more rich in antioxidants than blueberries?? Um HELLO! New favorite potato chip! Plus, they’re aesthetically pleasing, which makes them even more enjoyable to eat:) But really… they’re super high in anthocyanins, which is a strong antioxidant found in other purple fruits, veggies, and even flowers. (Think: blueberries, elderberries, and blue corn). Anthocyanins are thought to have antimicrobial benefits and anti-inflammatory properties as well.
My next favorite… TURMERIC
Turmeric has naturally derived anti-inflammatory properties as well and overall is just kick ass at fighting free radicals. I take Turmeric in a combined supplement called Protandim, which also has green tea, milk thistle, ashwaganda, and bacopa extract all in one tablet. The ingredients combined make for a powerful antioxidant that has the ability to eliminate 1,000,000 free radicals per second. This manifests in noticeable detoxifying benefits like increased energy, glowing skin, and decreased bloating. Peer-reviewed studies done by Harvard and CU Denver Medical have also found that Protandim may have long-term health benefits for some chronic diseases like asthma, diabetes, and hypertension.
I’ve taken Protandim everyday for four years and swear by its benefits!
Last but not least… MATCHA
I once did a Google search for the strongest antioxidant tea out there… and thus, I found matcha. One cup of matcha green tea has 10x more antioxidants than traditional green tea. It also has a cleaner energy boost than coffee and other teas… some people even swear by its weight-loss and metabolism boosting properties. I blend it into smoothies, shakes, and homemade chia seed pudding. It’s finely powdered, so it’s best dissolved in hot water first or mixed thoroughly to avoid a bitter, Earthy taste.
Be sure to seek out shade-grown matcha for better taste and higher amino acid content!
***All information is completely anecdotal and of my personal preferences and opinion. Please check with your doctor before altering your diet or introducing any over-the-counter supplements.***