“Antioxidant” has become a buzzword that seemingly justifies the enormous hike up in price of our everyday favourites. Stick an antioxidant sticker on a pack of blueberries that anyone could’ve grown in their garden, and suddenly you can charge an arm and a leg for a handful of the miracle fruit. However, new research is coming to light that shows taking antioxidant supplements could be causing more harm than good.
So what’s the deal with antioxidants?
Antioxidants basically counteract the oxidative stress put on our bodies by free radicals such as Oxygen and Nitrogen. But it’s not like skipping out on your antioxidant smoothie will leave your body at risk, as it naturally creates anti-oxidant enzymes which help to stabilise the free radicals. And free radicals aren’t even all bad, as they are used to fight viruses and bacteria.
So, all in all, your body has pretty much got it covered. The most important thing to remember is that antioxidants occur naturally in a variety of foods, so as long as you’re eating a varied diet, there’s really no need to start worrying about taking supplements. And likewise, taking supplements shouldn’t be considered an alternative to eating a healthy and varied diet.
Try these antioxidant rich foods…
- Berries, all berries, any berries… just eat berries!
- Beans. Rich in protein and a great alternative to meat in many meals.
- Oily fish, just make sure it’s a sustainable fish. Try Cornish sardines instead of mackerel.
- Vegetables. Green and leafy, or bright and colourful.
- Avocado, try it mashed up with some chopped tomatoes, coriander and lime juice for an easy and healthy guacamole treat.
- Dark Chocolate and Red Wine. It’s health food, seriously!