So you want to know where to get the best sources of antioxidants? Well you’ve come to the right place. Here I go over the various good sources of antioxidants, how you get them, and why combining antioxidant rich foods with a supplement will allow you to get the most bang for your buck.
Side note: From personal experience, a body cleanse diet can be a good way to help you transition to a healthier way of eating and detoxify your body at the same time.
Going a bit further, I break it down into 3 categories. First are the “Food Sources” which include the well-known superfoods (e.g. acai, pomegranate, goji berries) and a few other antioxidant rich foods (eg. elderberries, blueberries, strawberries).
Almost all the food sources come from fruits and vegetables.
The next source is antioxidant vitamin sources. These include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Vitamin A just to name a few. Vitamin sources were the first antioxidants to be discovered.
And the last category I use to identify sources of antioxidants is creatively called “Other Sources.” I classify them as “Other Sources” because they either have just recently been discovered as having antioxidant properties or you wouldn’t consider them having antioxidant powers when you hear about them.
Examples include curcumin, nigella sativa (black seed), resveratrol (found in grapes & wine), and aloe vera.
Where To Find Them
You’ll find the richest sources for all the antioxidants you’ll ever need in natural foods, ideally.
Why do I say ideally? There are 2 main reasons.
The first is because numerous studies show that industrialization and certain agricultural practices have caused the nutritional and antioxidant value of foods to decrease over time. An orange you eat today doesn’t have nearly the same amount of nutrients as an orange your grandparents ate.
This is due to the stripping away of nutrients in the soil from constant farming, the reliance of chemicals to fertilize the soil, and the prevalent use of pesticides... just a few reasons for this decrease in nutritional value.
Side Note: Studies have shown that one of the benefits of organic food is that they contain up to 40 percent more antioxidants than conventionally grown food, so try to eat organic as often as possible.
The second reason is the amount and how often you would have to eat each day to get the benefits of antioxidants. An example is with Vitamin E. It’s recommended to have at least 100mg/day to get their full benefits. This is almost impossible to get through food alone.
This can be both time consuming and expensive. Plus there are individuals who have food allergies or restrictions, difficulty with digestion (e.g. people with cancer, the elderly population), and those who just don’t eat that much.
The solution to this is using health supplements. Keep in mind that using supplements is not a substitute for a healthy diet. But they are a necessary source for the additional nutrients the modern diet lacks (contribution: Nutritional Supplements Health Guide).
I will admit that the nutrition industry has greatly evolved over time and there are some fantastic products out there. There are even network marketing companies that are offering great quality products with the science to back it up. Say what you want about network marketing companies, but in my experience the reputable few are delivering better products than what you’ll find in your typical retail store.
Although I favor eating natural foods, antioxidant supplementation is necessary to fight off free radicals and degenerative diseases. Just make sure you get your money’s worth.
The Best Sources of Antioxidants
Of all the food sources out there, the best sources of antioxidants come from fruits and vegetables. Not only do they have the antioxidants and nutrients we know about but they also have other benefits the scientific community has yet to discover.
With the vast amount of antioxidant rich foods to choose from, it can be confusing on where to start. I’m a big variety person and I recommend that everybody get a good mix of fruits and vegetables in their daily diet.
But not everybody has the time for this and not all foods are created equal. I go over various antioxidant rich foods and give my recommendation on whether to include them on a daily basis or if having them every once in a while is good enough (eg. acai).
If you feel compelled to jump-start your antioxidant rich food diet today then be sure to include the following foods with antioxidants: bell peppers (especially red peppers), apples, blueberries, spinach, broccoli, strawberries and nuts.
This is just a short list to get you started.
Be sure to check out the various food and vitamin sources on this site. Each section goes over the benefits you should expect to get and the best places to find them.
Getting The Most Bang For Your Buck
Combining antioxidant rich foods with health supplements (e.g. a well-rounded multi-vitamin) is your best bet for getting the most bang for your buck with antioxidants.
This is because of the principle of “Complementarity.” Some people call it “Synergy” and they are both the same thing. It’s like the saying “2 minds are better than 1” or that “1 + 1 = 3.” Same principle.
Research has shown that the effectiveness of antioxidants and vitamins will be greatly increased when 2 or more sources are taken together. Examples include Vitamin D & Calcium and Vitamin C & Vitamin E.
Another thing to consider when it comes to vitamins and antioxidants is the rate and amount of absorption. Without getting too complicated, having aloe vera juice with your vitamins and antioxidants can greatly enhance the absorption within your body.
What does this mean for you? A great absorption translates to more of getting the good stuff and less chances of it going to waste. Just something to consider.