The best antioxidants are those which are present in your daily diet. And are available for your body to absorb and utilise effectively. First let’s look at what antioxidants are and what they do.
Antioxidants are those nutrients found mostly in plants (fruit and veggies) which counter the negative impact of free radicals. Free radicals are the result of oxidation in the body created by natural metabolic processes. Although a natural phenomenon, more free radicals can be produced by a poor diet, chemicals in medication, food and the environment as well as stress.
Free radicals damage cells and cause a chain reaction of destruction, causing all manor of health problems. Some of these include damage to the brain, the eyes, the joints, the heart, the organs and more. The aging process accelerates and cancers are born. (So how anyone can think that toxic chemicals can cure cancers is beyond rational thinking.)
However, the antioxidants that should be in your daily diet ‘mop up’ these free radicals. The problem arises when people stop eating natural, healthy foods and turn to processed, fast and dead foods. And because we live in a highly increased toxic (and stressful) world.
Some of the best antioxidants and their natural sources include:
- beta-carotene (precursor to vitamin A) – found in orange plant based foods such as carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, apricots, papaya and leafy greens such as kale
- lycopene – found in red plant based foods such as tomatoes, water melon, papaya
- lutein – found in green leafy vegetables
- vitamin E – found in nuts
- vitamin C – found in all fresh fruit and veggies, the fresher the higher the content (one excellent reason to grow your own)
- glutathione – is a nutrient that is created by your body and is recycled in ideal circumstances, but can’t when there is a high toxic load (especially with heavy metals and radiation), but its power lies in the sulfur it contains
The best antioxidants are found in the foods listed above. Some antioxidants can be found in synthetic supplements (these are listed as a single nutrient such as vitamin C). Whilst these supplements may help a seriously depleted person in the short term, they are likely to cause problems in the long term. Nutrients should come from healthy, natural food, not laboratory made chemicals.
Whilst all antioxidants are vital to good health, it is thought that glutathione is one of the most important, because of its ability to recycle antioxidants as well as to regenerate itself.
Glutathione is critical to your immune system function and to your body detoxification. It can easily be depleted with too much oxidative stress and toxins, leading to inflammation, chronic pain, infections, chronic illness and cancers.
Most people who suffer with any chronic pain or illness will be drastically low in glutathione. So how do you replenish your levels?
- eat sulfur rich foods – onions, garlic and the cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, watercress, etc
- eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables – far more than the standard 3 + 2
- increase your levels of all the vitamin B’s – found in all fresh fruit and veggies
- take the herb milk thistle, also known as silymarin (or the organ support homeopathic form carduus marianus 6x) to support your liver and help boost glutathione levels
- use non-toxic forms of medicine – such as homeopathy
- use non toxic, natural house cleaners, personal care products and garden treatments
- exercise regularly which helps everything work better