Antioxidants keep you youthful and so you need a plentiful supply of them to maintain not only a healthy body, but also a healthy mind. This list of plant based foods high in antioxidants are easy to incorporate into your diet, and best of all they are mostly inexpensive and easy to source. What could be better than that?
In fact, some of these top 21 anti aging foods truly deserve superfood status due to their impressive array of phytochemicals and nutrients; all of which will keep your skin glowing, your body healthy, and you feeling great for life.
What are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules found in certain foods that help to inhibit the oxidation of other molecules (ie the molecules inside every cell of your body). This is important because oxidative damage can be one of the root causes of disease, illnesses and AGING in general; so keeping oxidative stress to a minimum is extremely vital to anti aging.
The antioxidant rich foods on this list, either on their own, or through the enhancement of other natural anti aging supplements will help keep you in a state of regeneration instead of degeneration, which of course, is a state we all want to be in.
What causes accelerated aging?
Oxidative damage to your cells is caused by seemingly benign every day activities and addictions (see list below) which cause cells to split, thus triggering free radicals in the body.
These free radicals are otherwise known as unpaired electrons, and they scavenge your body looking to pair themselves up again by stealing electrons from healthy cells -yes, they are naughty – but this process causes untold damage to your DNA, cells and other proteins. This is why it is CRUCIAL to negate this free radical damage as much as you possibly can, as when it gets out of control it can have a domino effect and eventually trigger diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and many other age related diseases.
What causes Oxidative Damage?
- Over exercising, OR not exercising enough:- Both of these can cause oxidative stress so stick to no more than an hour a day, but by the same token make sure your’e doing at least half an hour 5 times per week.
- Over eating – especially sugars and refined carbohydrates:- Over eating causes your mitochondria to release more ‘exhaust’ so to speak, and this creates higher free radical levels from the burning of fuel from food for energy.
- Excessive stress:- Something that we’re all guilty of in our busy lives – excessive stress literally is a killer! It causes the release of the stress hormone cortisol which in turn produces inflammation in the body, thus creating free radical damage. It’s also worth mentioning here that chronic inflammation underpins many modern day diseases and illnesses and is often due to bad diet’s, lack of exercise, and all manner of other environmental toxic damage.
- Too much alcohol:- Excessive drinking increases cytokine levels, which are molecules that cause oxidative stress through inflammation.
- Smoking – an obvious one!:- Cigarettes contain over 5,000 chemicals when burned, which sounds absolutely horrendous right? And it’s these chemicals, the worst being formaldehyde, lead, arsenic and ammonia that cause the most destructive kind of oxidative stress, which will almost certainly lead to disease and ill health. So give up the evil ciggies for good if you want to stay healthy; there really is no other way.
- Ionizing radiation:- This can mean many things, but most commonly it’s exposure to the sun (as in sun damage); plus, mobile phones, WIFI, airplanes and X-rays can all cause oxidative stress in our bodies.
- Fungus:- Molds and fungus like those found in your bathroom, or in damp houses, can contribute to oxidatve stress in the body. As do candida and other fungal infections in and on the body itself.
- Burnt foods:- Especially burnt meat or cheese: The process of burning food oxidises it, so when consumed it causes oxidation and therefore free radical damage in the body.
- Poor sleep and chronic insomnia:- Both of these cause stress due to the fact that the body hasn’t been able to rejuvenate and repair itself properly. In the long term this will have a snow ball effect in terms of oxidative damage and its resulting problems.
- Pollution and chemicals:- Again, this can come in many forms, from household pollutants such as cleaning products, air fresheners, soaps, shampoos and make up etc; to the outdoor pollution of industrial toxins, airplane fuel and car exhaust fumes. Even our food is full of chemicals, preservatives and fertilisers, and the water we drink full of yet more chemicals.
- Infections:- Chronic long term infections such as chlamydia and gum disease, all contribute to oxidative stress and damage in the body.
- Bad liver and gut detoxification:- When the liver becomes overwhelmed in its pursuit of detoxifying it will produce yet even more free radicals, which then perpetuates the cycle even further. At this stage a proper detoxification may be necessary to bring the system back into a state of balance.
As you can see, there are many ways in which your body comes under free radical attack and many of them simply cannot be avoided. But, don’t be disheartened as the body IS designed to detoxify itself perfectly adequately given the right conditions, and this is where antioxidant rich foods come in. These alone should not be your only protection, but they will most certainly help, especially alongside other lifestyle changes such as:-
- A healthy diet.
- Adequate exercise.
- Not smoking.
- Watching alcohol intake.
- Staying away from (as much as possible) heavily polluted areas.
- Having lots of houseplants to purify your air.
- Where possible, buying organic food, cosmetics and soaps.
- Staying away from, or cutting down drastically on junk foods, fried foods, burnt foods, sugar and refined carbohydrates.
Remember, your body is designed to detoxify itself, and without this magnificent system beavering away inside of us 24/7 we would not survive even a day. But it is important to understand that we were simply not designed to detoxify from all the harsh pollutants we are exposed to in our modern world. Harsh pollutants that we have not yet had a chance to adapt to as they have happened so quickly – well, in the last century, which is no time at all in the grand scheme of things.
These pollutants put a huge strain on a daily basis onto your liver and other detoxification organs, until eventually the battle is lost and you may succumb to disease and sickness. This CAN be avoided if you start giving your body the nourishing and detoxifying foods that it needs to stay thriving.
Some (not all) experts say that our bodies are perfectly capable of detoxifying from every day life, but how can this be true when diseases like cancer are rife? On a personal note, since I have been eating high antioxidant foods and using daily green superfood shots my whole body has changed. I now have MUCH clearer skin (I’m not even kidding; it glows), shiny hair, and my mind is much clearer. Plus I NEVER get sick, which is proof enough to me that I’m detoxifying very well indeed thank you very much 🙂
Top Antioxidant Rich Foods
This list is of the most commonly found foods that are the highest in antioxidants, and you should aim for at least 7+ portions of these per day to keep your body in good health and detoxifiying adequately.
They are also highly anti aging, and should be eaten in their most rawest and natural as state possible (or very lightly steamed) for the best results. Light cooking, or raw eating, will help to keep all those healthful nutrients, phytochemicals, antioxidants and fibers intact.
- Berries of all kinds
- Dark Chocolate (at least 70% cacao)
- Pecan Nuts
- Kidney Beans
- Pomegranates (see more about this amazing fruit here)
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Red Wine/ Red Grapes/ Raisins
- Sweet Potatoes
- Brussels Sprouts
- Bell Peppers
- Green Super Food*
Green Superfood Powders
Green super food powders are a powerful detoxification tool and a great thing you can do for your body today. They can really help give you an edge alongside the other antioxidant rich foods, and help you to be sure you are covering all bases. There are so many available including spirulina, wheatgrass, barleygrass, moringa and blue/green algaes. They deliver a concentrated hit of nutrients and you can be sure with quality green superfood brands that they have been picked and freeze dried at their peak of nutrition, which is immediately after harvesting.
Other awesome reasons to use green superfood powder supplements:-
- WEIGHT LOSS – Green superfoods are also a great weight loss aid as they help to keep blood sugar stable, and therefore reduce food cravings.
- HIGH IN NUTRIENTS – They are also an intense hit of pure vitamins and minerals and will help you be sure your body is getting everything it needs. Sometimes your body can be ‘starving’ of nutrients even if you eat a lot of food, which can trigger food cravings and lead to weight gain.
- ANTI INFLAMMATORY – Green superfood powders are highly alkaine, meaning they can help lower any chronic inflammation in your body that could eventually lead to diseases.
- DETOXIFICATION – Keeping the body detoxifying well is at the heart of great health.
- IMMUNE BOOSTER – A shot a day of superfood will REALLY boost your immune system.
- ENERGY – Need more energy? I think we all do, and these superfood powders will give you a zing and wake you up within 20 minutes. Great for when you’re sick, have a hangover, or are just about to hit the gym.
- GLOWING SKIN – The most natural make-over of all! You will see a noticeable boost to your complexion after you have taken a shot of superfood; not to mention a sparkle in your eyes too!
Beginning a Healthier Lifestyle
Sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin when you decide you really want to turn your health around – I know, I’ve been there; and this feeling makes it all to easy to procrastinate on something that needs to be a priority in your life. It can all be so confusing, and the endless amounts of conflicting advice on the internet make it hard to know what to do for the best. This is why I go to great lengths to only deal with science based evidence and my own personal experiences on this website.
Please check out these easy ways to begin a healthier life if you need a place to start. The the sooner you get into it, the sooner you will feel great and have the energy and confidence to live out your dreams.
Thanks for reading this article today; as always I always welcome your thoughts and comments and will endeavour to reply within 24 hours.