Chances are you’ve heard of antioxidants by now and know that they’re an important part of a healthy diet. What you may not know is exactly what antioxidants do and how they help to improve and support vibrant overall health. So, today, we thought we’d take a quick deep-dive into the health benefits of antioxidants.
What Are Antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances that neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals are created through a number of normal biological processes, such as cell division, and help cells communicate to one another and ward off infection.
The problem arises when free radicals begin to build up in the body faster than the body can neutralize and eliminate them. This buildup of free radicals can happen thanks to a number of lifestyle, stress, and environmental factors, such as:
- Air pollution
- Smoking and drinking
- A diet high in refined sugars, carbohydrates, and polyunsaturated fatty acids
- Bacterial, fungal, or viral infections
- Excessive intense exercise
- Radiation exposure, including too much sunbathing
- Being antioxidant-deficient OR getting too many antioxidants (usually through excessive supplementation)
And if free radicals build up in your body, they begin to cause oxidative stress, which contributes to a number of common health issues. This is why it can be beneficial to include plenty of food-based antioxidants in your diet to help your body neutralize free radicals and keep them in balance.
Health Benefits Of Antioxidants
So, we know that antioxidants help to keep free radicals in check. But how does that translate to improved health? Here are 7 ways a diet high in antioxidants has been shown to support better health.
Certain antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, selenium, copper, and zinc, have been shown to have cardioprotective activity. And many studies have shown that diets high in antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables can help protect the heart and protect against cardiovascular issues.
Oxidative stress has been shown to contribute to the damage and loss of neurons in the brain. And a loss of neurons is linked to the development of a number of neurodegenerative disorders. For instance, consuming higher amounts of carotenoids, an antioxidant found in foods like sweet potatoes, yams, and carrots, was linked to cognitive benefits.
The anti-inflammatory properties of antioxidants have been shown to help with the symptoms of arthritis. In fact, the Arthritis Foundation highlights the importance of food-based antioxidants in its Ultimate Arthritis Diet.
It’s no secret that a diet high in fruits and vegetables can help give your immune system a boost. And that’s thanks, in part, to antioxidants. Research has shown that increasing your intake of antioxidants can have a positive effect on your immune system.
Several different reports and studies have shown that antioxidants can help improve eye health and reduce the progression of common eye issues like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
The brain is particularly sensitive to oxidative stress and studies have shown a positive relationship between the presence of antioxidants in the body and overall mental health. In fact, many researchers believe that consuming antioxidant-rich foods could be key to reducing common mental health issues.
Chronic oxidative stress has been shown to contribute to an increase in age-related disease and mortality. Increasing intake of antioxidants may help slow cellular aging and improve health as you age.
How To Get More Antioxidants
While it may be tempting to start taking one of the many antioxidant supplements on the market, this may not be the best route. As mentioned above, taking too many antioxidants can actually contribute to oxidative stress. Your best bet for improving overall health and vitality is to add more antioxidant-rich foods to your diet.
There are a number of foods that are high in antioxidants, with spices, fruits, and vegetables topping the list. This is why the recommendation to “eat the rainbow” is so helpful. Generally, the more colorful the fruit or vegetable, the more antioxidants.
This is also one of the reasons “green drinks” have become so popular over the last few years. They’re a convenient way to get energy-boosting antioxidants, minerals, phytonutrients and a whole host of other energy boosting superfoods. Unfortunately, most of the green drinks on the market taste grassy or chalky.
And if you can’t stand the taste of your green drink, you aren’t going to reap the health benefits.
Island Bliss solves that problem by taking all of the superfood-packed goodness of a green drink and giving it a flavor that actually tastes good when mixed with just water!
Island Bliss packs all the health-boosting benefits you’d expect from a high-quality green drink, including:
- A blend of 12 different superfoods and veggies including organic spirulina, organic moringa, organic chlorella, and organic maca to support energy levels and metabolism.*
- A blend of 6 different organic berries loaded with antioxidants to promote healthy aging, cardiovascular health, as well as healthy carbohydrate metabolism.*
- A naturally-sourced multi-mineral complex that contains calcium as well as other trace minerals to boost overall health.*
- A prebiotic/probiotic blend that contains up to 5 billion CFU of beneficial bacteria to help support gut health.*
- A powerful blend of over 18 superfoods including CoffeeBerry® and pomegranate extract plus organic acai for a natural source of energy.*
- A quality source of organic turmeric to help support an active lifestyle by promoting a natural inflammation response.*
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.