Everyone even remotely interested in health and beauty knows the term, has read about it, and even tried to incorporate them into our daily lives. But... do we truly understand how antioxidants work in the body?
To start, what exactly are antioxidants? These are chemical compounds that your body uses to eliminate free radicals. And what are free radicals? Something you'll want to avoid. They are chemical substances that introduce oxygen into your cells with the intention of oxidizing them, altering your DNA, and, in general, accelerating the aging process of your body.
In other words, if, like most of us mortals, you seek to prevent or slow down aging, antioxidants will be your best allies. Therefore, one of the first steps to start taking care of yourself naturally and effectively is to understand where to find these chemical compounds that will defend us against the passage of time.
Although we should not forget that aging is a process we better not fight against if we don't want to lose the game, we can slow it down by giving our bodies a proper supply of antioxidants and a healthy life.
The list of antioxidant elements that we can find in nature is very extensive, and some of them are already part of our daily lives. However, if we truly seek an improvement in our physical and mental state, we must practice conscious consumption of antioxidant-rich foods.
To make it easy for you to put it into practice, we have prepared a list of natural antioxidants that you can incorporate into your life and your plate without any effort.
Although most of us hated it as children, we cannot deny the virtues that broccoli has for our bodies. In recent years, it has been classified as a superfood wherever it goes.
This mini tree has, among many other things, anticancer properties due to the sulforaphane, a phytonutrient it contains. In addition, by consuming it, we absorb vitamins A, C, E, and some minerals like potassium or zinc. Broccoli is also a good option for your weekday meals if you want to protect yourself against high blood pressure, as it contains chromium, a mineral that regulates blood glucose.
Matcha tea is the king of antioxidant foods. With 137 times more antioxidants than green tea, matcha possesses properties that seem almost magical.
It contains vitamins A, B2, C, D, E, K, potassium, proteins, calcium, iron, and chlorophyll, all of which protect you against free radicals, accelerate your metabolism, and control blood sugar levels.
Furthermore, matcha produces a calm-alert effect thanks to its combination of caffeine and L-Theanine, which make energy release more gradual than coffee, creating a state of alertness without nervousness, concentration without fatigue, and good mood without anxiety.
As if that weren't enough, thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power, matcha has a huge impact on your skin. It eliminates redness, helps reduce acne, and ensures that your skin is smoother and healthier.
Although it's a spice that you would typically use lightly to season dishes or drinks, the benefits you get from it will be in small doses. Nevertheless, its properties are so numerous and beneficial that it's worth including it in your kitchen. For example, to sprinkle on your matcha latte.
Many of its components have great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power. In fact, in a study conducted with 26 other spices, cinnamon proved to be more antioxidant than oregano, considered a superfood.
The weight-loss properties of artichoke are widely known, but not much is said about its other positive effects on your health.
Artichoke, for example, has a hepatoprotective effect thanks to cynarin and luteolin, which improve liver function. Additionally, it contains vitamins A and C, giving it antioxidant properties.
Inulin, another component of artichoke, has a diuretic effect, so it will also help you avoid fluid retention and cleanse your body.
Tomato could be considered part of the royal family of antioxidant foods. It contains the trio of antioxidant vitamins: A, C, and E. So much so that, for example, consuming 200 grams of tomato will cover 80% of your daily vitamin C needs, 27% of vitamin A, and 13% of vitamin E. By doing so, you'll be helping your body create a protective barrier against free radicals, thus preventing premature aging.
It's also a powerful source of vitamins B1 and B6, which promote the absorption of energy from food and take care of your nervous system. Tomato is also an interesting food for those with iron deficiency.
These five foods, easy to incorporate into your diet, will make you feel better, and your body will thank you. Remember that any good diet should be complemented by an active lifestyle.
Make small changes like walking to places whenever possible and maintaining good sleep hygiene, and you'll see the results!
Read the study on antioxidant foods.