Okay, so it is understood that fruits such as, blueberries and apples contain something called antioxidants, and antioxidants are full of all of this good stuff that keeps you healthy and makes your skin glow. So, what are antioxidants and where can we get them?
To understand antioxidants we need adopt the mentality, “in moderation.” Even some of the best things for you can be harmful if used in excess, including oxygen. Who knew you could get too much air! Let’s deconstruct the word - ‘anti’ means against and ‘oxidant,’ oxidation.
We have all heard of free radicals, which are produced by oxidation. Free radicals are molecules that are missing an electron, seeking other chemical structures in our bodies to make themselves whole again. By doing so, they leave those chemical structures damaged. In excess, free radicals accelerate aging, harden blood vessels, and promote cancer growth.
Antioxidants oppose this oxidation; they inhibit and counteract the damaging effects of oxidation in our bodies. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals in our bodies by stabilizing their chemical structure. Five key antioxidants are vitamin A, C, E, the mineral Selenium, and zinc.
The blueberry is the poster child for antioxidants because, quite frankly, they are amazing! However, there are a plethora of sources to fight free radicals. Vitamin A is most notably found in red and orange produce, carrots, peppers, etc. Vitamin C is found most famously in citrus, but also exists in everything from papayas to kiwi. Asparagus, Avocado, and spinach are great a source of vitamin E. Selenium is most present in onions, tomatoes, and broccoli. Lastly, Zinc is prevails in green leafy vegetables, beans, and peas.
Fruits and vegetables to the rescue again -- the best medicine in the world!