Fitness & Nutrition

How to Get the Most Antioxidants in Your Diet

Eating with an eye for color is better than taking supplements when it comes to these free-radical fighters
TIMEOctober 11, 2018

As we age, the available antioxidants in the body are lessened, so we need to take in foods that can boost our levels to keep fighting off free-radical damage.

We are constantly exposed to stressors that can trigger oxidation and free radical damage, such as smoking, stress, pollution, sun exposure, and toxins from products we use or even the clothes we wear. With so many threats against us, it’s important that we amp up our antioxidants.

The best sources of antioxidants easily can be found in your diet, especially if you consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. It’s true that each fruit and vegetable possesses its own antioxidants, but consuming combinations of these foods can amp up the quality of the antioxidants you are ingesting and make them more useful in the body.

For example, vitamin C works better in combination with vitamin E, so eating foods that possess either will allow these vitamins to work together once digested for optimal benefits.

Some foods high in antioxidants include blueberries, matcha green tea, and dark chocolate. The vegetable with the highest number of antioxidants, which may surprise you, is an artichoke.

Even though so many foods contain antioxidants, many of us still struggle to get an adequate amount in our diet. This may prompt you to take supplements to get in an adequate amount of antioxidants, but there is conflicting evidence about the use of supplements. As mentioned, the best way to get your fix of antioxidants is to eat antioxidant-rich foods, which can be easily done by choosing from a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. And the brighter the hues, the better they are.

For example, you can sprinkle berries on your cereal in the morning or create a smoothie to start your day. For lunch, you can create a spinach lunch packed with dark leafy greens, peppers, and other delicious veggies. And for dinner, no meal is complete without a side of veggies, and the more the merrier.

There are so many ways to fill your diet with antioxidants that you don’t really need to rely on supplements to give you a boost. Just ensure you are eating foods of all colors of the rainbow.

Emily Lunardo is a reporter for Bel Marra Health, which originally published this article.