The Power of Antioxidants ~ 5 reasons to make sure you get enough!

brain health environment healthy eating healthy recipes immunity real food resilience sugarfree Jul 16, 2023

The word "antioxidant" is one you might hear a lot, maybe from commercials on TV or posters in the supermarket.

But it can be hard to know the difference between marketing and the real benefits.

To get to the bottom of this topic, let's deep dive into five exciting facts about antioxidants and why they are so powerful and essential.

#1: Antioxidants are chemical compounds

First of all, you need to know that all antioxidants are chemical compounds. Some come from our food, and some are naturally occurring in your body.

Antioxidants are known to inhibit oxidation, a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals. Autoxidation leads to degradation of organic compounds, including living matter.

In fact, antioxidants are frequently added to industrial products, such as polymers, fuels, and lubricants, to extend their usable lifetimes!

It is not sure how many of these compounds can act as antioxidants, but there could be thousands. And each has its role and can interact with others to help your body work at its best.

Antioxidants can be found, for example, in vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamins E, Selenium, and Beta-carotene.  Diets high in vegetables and fruits, which are good sources of antioxidants, have been found to be healthy.

#2: Fight free radicals

Free radicals get produced in your body during natural processes like digestion and breathing. But they can also come from environmental sources such as tobacco smoke, UV rays, and additives.

Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that seek out and pair up with healthy cells to make themselves whole again. This process will weaken and damage the healthy cells and their DNA, and oxidation can upset the cells leading to health problems in your body.

Suppose you have too many free radicals in your body. In that case, this causes oxidative stress and can contribute to an increased risk of developing chronic diseases.

Luckily for us, antioxidants can help prevent damage from too many free radicals floating around. Antioxidants move around in your body to help stabilize the cells to stay in their healthy and happy state.

The main benefit of antioxidants in fighting free radicals is to keep the body healthy and free of various diseases.

#3: Most foods contain antioxidants

Almost all food contains some antioxidant, but the amount varies a lot. Therefore, it is essential to include various foods in your daily diet.

You can find antioxidants in both animal-based foods and plant-based foods.

The amount is remarkably higher in plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts. But eggs and dairy products will also help you get a sufficient amount.

Even coffee and tea will help provide you with many antioxidants!

You can get your daily boost of antioxidants from these foods:

Vitamin A - Green leafy vegetables, yellow and orange vegetables, mango, fish oils, liver, milk, and eggs.

Vitamin C - Broccoli, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes, and citrus fruits

Vitamin E - Nuts, seeds, oils, spinach, avocado, asparagus, mango, fish, and kiwi   

Selenium - Milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, poultry, fish, Brazil nuts, beans, and banana

Beta-Carotene - Carrots, spinach, lettuce, squash, sweet potatoes, peas, apricots, herbs, and spices.

#4: Get them from supplements

While fresh, clean, unprocessed, real foods are the preferred source of antioxidants, sometimes it is not always possible to get enough through the foods we eat.  

If you have a deficiency of antioxidants, you can obtain them through supplements.

It's best to use high-quality supplements purchased through a knowledgable health-care practitioner or health food store.

Further research is needed to identify the role of antioxidant supplements in preventing disease, although it is clear that Vitamin C, in large amounts, can relieve the common cold.

Eating plenty of antioxidant-rich whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts is always preferable. It is proven to reduce oxidative damage to a greater extent than supplements.

#5: Lower risk of disease

Suppose you have too many free radicals in your body. In that case, you will have a higher risk of diseases like atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, ocular disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.

When eating antioxidant-rich food, you may prevent or delay the course of these diseases.

Let's look at cancer as an example. Here the underlying cause of the disease is thought to be damage to DNA (one reason for this could be too many free radicals).

The process by which normal cells get transferred into cancer cells is not fully understood. But it is plausible that antioxidants may interfere with this process. So, certain antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin C, and beta-carotene may be responsible for lower cancer rates.

Bottom Line

Antioxidants help you fight free radicals, leading to improved health and well-being. They help your body stay healthy and lower the risk of various diseases.

If you need supplements, it's recommended not to take larger doses.

Providing your body with food rich in antioxidants like fruit, vegetables, and nuts is favoured over supplements.

Recipe ~ Broccoli and Cabbage Salad

Serves 4


  • 2 cups Broccoli (cut into florets)
  • 1 cup Purple Cabbage (thinly sliced)
  • 1/4 cup Red Grapes (cut in half)
  • 1/4 cup Slivered Almonds
  • 1/4 cup Radishes (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup Shallot (chopped, divided)
  • 1/3 cup Orange Juice
  • 1 tbsp Miso Paste
  • 1 tbsp Almond Butter
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil


  1. Add the broccoli, cabbage, grapes, radishes, almonds, and half of the shallots together in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl or cup, with an immersion blender, blend the orange juice, miso, almond butter, remaining shallots, and oil until smooth. You can also use a mini food processor or small blender.
  3. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to combine. Divide evenly between bowls and enjoy!


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Free radicals hasten head and neck cancer risk: A study of total oxidant, total antioxidant, DNA damage, and histological grade. AK Singh, P Pandey, M Tewari, HP Pandey, IS Gambhir, and HS Shukla

Antioxidants in food: mere myth or magic medicine? R G Berger , S Lunkenbein, A Ströhle, A Hahn

[Antioxidants as anti-ageing medicine] Yuji Naito, Toshikazu Yoshikawa

Effects of antioxidants on immune system ageing. M De la Fuente

The total antioxidant content of more than 3100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs and supplements used worldwide. Monica H Carlsen, Bente L Halvorsen, Kari Holte, Siv K Bøhn, Steinar Dragland, Laura Sampson, Carol Willey, Haruki Senoo, Yuko Umezono, Chiho Sanada, Ingrid Barikmo, Nega Berhe, Walter C Willett, Katherine M Phillips, David R Jacobs, Jr, and Rune Blomhoff

Are antioxidants helpful for disease prevention? Hajhashemi, G. Vaseghi, M. Pourfarzam, and A. Abdollahi

Antioxidants and healthy aging. Erez Hasnis , Abraham Z Reznick

Antioxidants and Atherosclerosis: Mechanistic Aspects. Khojasteh Malekmohammad, Robert D. E. Sewell, and Mahmoud Rafieian-Kopaei

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