Antioxidants keep you youthful and 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. Best of all, they are mostly inexpensive and easy to source.
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 help keep your skin glowing, your body healthy and you feeling amazing.
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.
Therefore, 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.
What causes accelerated aging?
Oxidative damage to your cells is caused by seemingly benign every day activities and addictions (see list below). This causes cells to split, thus triggering free radicals in the body.
These free radicals are otherwise known as unpaired electrons that scavenge your body looking to pair themselves up again by stealing electrons from healthy cells. 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. Otherwise, when it gets out of control it can have a domino effect and eventually trigger disease.
What Causes Oxidative Damage?
Over exercising, OR not exercising enough.
Both exercising and over-exercising can cause oxidative stress on the body. It’s best to stick to no more than an hour a day, but by the same token make sure you’re doing at least half an hour 5 times per week.
Exercise is vital to over-all anti aging and keeping the body strong, healthy and able to fight disease more readily.
(especially sugars and refined carbohydrates)
Over eating causes your mitochondria to release more ‘exhaust’ so to speak. This in turn creates higher free radical levels from the burning of fuel from food for energy.
Eat lots of fibre rich plant based foods to help fill you up and stop you from over-eating in the first place.
Something that we’re all guilty of in our busy lives, but excessive stress can be very harmful and even deadly. Stress causes the release of the stress hormone cortisol. This 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. This is often due to bad diet, lack of exercise and all manner of other environmental toxic damage.
Be sure to exercise, eat healthily and obtain enough sleep to help you fight stress on a cellular level.
Too much alcohol
Excessive drinking increases cytokine levels. These are molecules that cause oxidative stress through inflammation, not to mention liver disease!
When drinking, be sure to alternate your alcoholic beverages with no alcohol drinks. Also, be sure to keep hydrated before going to bed and the next day to help negate alcohol induced damage too.
Cigarettes contain over 5,000 chemicals when burned. It’s these chemicals, the worst being formaldehyde, lead, arsenic and ammonia that cause the most destructive kind of oxidative stress. The kind that will almost certainly lead to disease and ill health.
So give up the unhealthy ciggies for good if you wish to stay healthy. There really is no other way.
This can mean many things, but most commonly it’s exposure to the sun (as in sun damage).
Also, mobile phones, WIFI, airplanes and X-rays can all cause oxidative stress in our bodies.
Moulds and fungus (like those found in your bathroom or in damp houses) can contribute to oxidative stress in the body.
Candida and other fungal infections in and on the body itself will also produce this effect too.
Burnet or charred foods, especially burnt meat or cheese are carcinogenic and can cause oxidative stress in the body.
The process of burning food oxidises them, therefore when consumed causes oxidation and free radical damage in the body.
Stay away from burnt foods as much as possible, no matter what they may be, to be on the safe side.
Poor sleep and chronic insomnia
Both poor sleep and chronic insomnia 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.
If you have problems sleeping then a good diet and exercise will help. Be sure to tire your body and mind enough to be able to drop off naturally. If not, try some natural herbal supplements and if all else fails, visit your Doctor. Insomnia is a dangerous issue that must be sorted as soon as possible.
Pollution and chemicals
Again, this can come in many forms from household pollutants such as cleaning products, air fresheners, soaps, shampoos and make up to the outdoor pollution of industrial toxins, airplane fuel and car exhaust fumes.
Even our food is full of chemicals, preservatives and fertilisers. The water we drink full of yet more chemicals. We sure are living in a toxic environment so keeping our bodies detoxifying adequately is crucial to keeping free radical damage under control.
Chronic long term infections such as chlamydia and gum disease all contribute to oxidative stress and damage in the body.
If you suspect and infection of any kind, visit your Doctor as soon as possible.
Bad liver and gut detoxification
When the liver becomes overwhelmed in its pursuit of detoxifying, it will produce yet even more free radicals. This then perpetuates the cycle even further and you will start to feel under par.
If t gets to this stage, a proper detoxification may be necessary to bring the system back into a state of balance. You should do this under medical or practitioner supervision only.
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 because the body IS designed to detoxify itself perfectly adequately given the right conditions. This is where antioxidant rich foods come in.
Antioxidant rich foods 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.
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.
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 antioxidant rich 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.
Top Antioxidant Rich Foods
This list is of the most commonly found foods that have the best antioxidants.
You should aim for at least 7+ portions of these per day to keep your body in good health and detoxifiying adequately.
These foods 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 fibres 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*
- Acai berry powder
Green Superfood Powders
Green super food powders are very high in antioxidants and a great thing you can do for your body today.
There are so many green powders available, including spirulina, wheatgrass, barley grass, moringa and blue/green algae’s. All deliver a concentrated hit of nutrients.
You can be sure with quality green superfood brands that they have been picked and freeze dried at their peak of nutrition, 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 – Superfood greens are also an intense hit antioxidants, 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. This can ultimately trigger food cravings and lead to weight gain.
- ANTI INFLAMMATORY – Green superfood powders are highly alkaline, 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? 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!
It’s pretty easy to eat from this list of foods highest in antioxidants every day. Most are widely available in supermarkets, and many are pretty inexpensive.
Making the effort to source out and eat foods from this list will go a way towards anti aging on a cellular level. You will be helping to beat the barrage of free-radicals that we all get hit by every day.