What are Antioxidants and Why Do They Matter?

What are Antioxidants and Why Do They Matter?

Understanding how your body works is the best thing you can do to ensure you’re giving it what it needs to function at its best. A big part of the puzzle involves tiny little molecules called antioxidants. You know your body needs them, but you might be wondering “why?” Today, we’re covering what antioxidants are, the important role they play, and how you can naturally include more of them in your diet. 

What are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are tiny molecules that play an important role in fighting free radicals in your body. Free radicals are molecules that are unstable, and too many of them can cause cell damage. So, the job of antioxidants is to tip the balance of molecules in their favor, keeping your cells healthy and free radicals at bay. 

Why are Antioxidants Important? 
When free radicals outnumber antioxidants, it leads to what’s called oxidative stress, a process that can trigger cell damage. Cell damage can alter the normal function of your cells or even  negatively impact your DNA, leading to cell death. Oxidative stress is responsible for a variety of diseases including cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular diseases, and issues affecting eye health. That’s why neutralizing excess free radicals is so crucial to maintaining cellular good health. 

Free radicals come from a variety of sources. They can be generated by essential metabolic processes or from external sources like excess sunlight exposure, pollution, alcohol consumption, and exposure to cigarette smoke. High levels of blood sugar can also lead to antioxidant deficiency. prolonged and excessive high-intensity exercise can also damage cells by depleting antioxidants and generating too many free radicals. This makes nutritional intake of antioxidants important for the recovery phase after workouts and for our overall health and wellness. 

Examples of Antioxidants:

  • Vitamin C 
  • Vitamin E
  • Selenium
  • Beta-carotene
  • Lycopene
  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin

How can you get antioxidants?
Some antioxidants, such as alpha-lipoic acid and glutathione, are naturally produced by the cells in your body. Others come through the food you eat. The richest food sources of antioxidants come from phytochemicals, which are molecules derived from plants. 

The antioxidants you can provide for your body are absorbed in two ways:

  • Ingestible antioxidants: There are important antioxidants that your body needs, but can’t make on its own. Examples are Vitamin C, vitamin E, and B-carotene, which all need to be consumed through diet. Diets high in whole fruits and vegetables and antioxidant-specific dietary supplements can provide these essential micronutrients.

  • Topical antioxidants:  When antioxidants are applied topically, they work by scavenging for free radicals, neutralizing them, and thus reducing inflammation. They can also bolster your protection against UV rays. This is why antioxidant serums and lotions are popular beauty products, like those containing vitamin C  and CoQ10. They have the ability to provide antioxidants while also slowing photoaging, preventing sun damage, and decreasing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles giving the skin a youthful and healthy appearance.

  • What foods are super-rich in antioxidants?

    Any whole foods of plant or animal origin contain some level of antioxidants. But some pack a bigger punch than others. Here’s a breakdown of the most antioxidant-rich foods that you should be including in your diet regularly.

    Antioxidant-rich beans:

    • Soybeans
    • Lentils
    • Black-eyed peas
    • Black beans
    • Kidney beans 

    Antioxidant-rich fruits:

    • Grapes
    • Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, and raspberries
    • Cherries
    • Figs
    • Pears
    • Oranges
    • Apricots
    • Avocados 

    Antioxidant-rich nuts:

    • Brazil nuts
    • Walnuts

    Antioxidant-rich vegetables:

    • Dark leafy greens such as broccoli, kale, spinach, and collard greens
    • Orange veggies like sweet potatoes, squash, and carrots
    • Artichokes
    • Cabbage
    • Asparagus
    • Beets
    • Radishes

    Antioxidant-rich fish and seafood:

    • Sardines
    • Salmon
    • Oysters
    • Mackerel
    • Tuna
    • Shellfish 

    Supplements with antioxidants

    If you’re looking to boost your antioxidant levels, supplements can lend a helping hand. At Fluent, we have 2 sets of science-backed supplements that are designed to help your body get more free-radical fighting antioxidants, feel more energized, remove toxins, and boost your cellular health. 

    Elderberry, Zinc + Vitamin C immunity capsules
    Rich in anti-inflammatory properties, this blend is specially formulated to enhance your body's natural defenses and improve overall energy and health. It contains powerful natural antioxidants that will help in the fight against free radicals, and reduce illness recovery times associated with cold and flu-like symptoms.

    Immunity Power Pack
    If you’re looking for a super-boost of powerful antioxidants, nothing gets your body what it needs faster or more efficiently than our 10-day Immunity Power Pack. In less than 2 weeks, your body can reach peak-antioxidant health! 

    The 10-day pack contains all of the antioxidant superheroes your body craves in one easy package: 

    • B-Complex+
    • L-Lysine
    • Vitamin C
    • Vitamin D3
    • Zinc
    • Detox Blend
    • Recharge Blend

    The antioxidant and the free-radical balancing act is a great metaphor for overall wellbeing. Health is all about finding balance and doing your best to make sure that the good outweighs the bad. Good health doesn’t have to be hard. Eat well, move your body, and replenish your system with what it needs to function to the best of its ability. How you get there is up to you!