If you have any interest in wellness, you probably already know that antioxidants are a good thing! While antioxidants can be natural or artificial, they’re most commonly sought after in the form of plant-based foods. The reason they’re such a staple in the wellness world is because of their ability to prevent cell damage in response to environmental toxins.
“Antioxidants are critical to health in this time and age, because we are exposed to so many environmental chemicals,” says Dr. Beverly Goode-Kanawati DO beverlymedicalcenter.com. “The chemicals that have become commonplace in our modern society can cause damage to our bodies, such as cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, cancers and more.”
According to Dr. Goode-Kanawati, antioxidants provide the body with a way of “neutralizing the damaging effects of such chemicals.” That means: antioxidants can help prevent or slow down many different diseases.
The best part? Plant-based, antioxidant-rich foods are easy to incorporate into your diet, especially when you know where to find them. To make sure your diet is filled to the brim with free radical-fighting foods, we reached out to the experts about their favorites. Here’s what they recommended:
Pineapples are the only food source that contain bromelain, an enzyme, with significant antioxidant benefits. Antioxidants work to reduce free radical damage from toxins, which lead to inflammation and chronic disease, like obesity.
This fruit can also help with maintaining adequate hydration in the warm summer months. Snacking on fresh (or even canned) pineapple is a great way to take in water and important electrolytes that can be lost through excess sweat.
The enzyme, bromelain, also supports healthy digestion. This group works as proteases, which break down proteins into their individual amino acids, allowing them to be digested more easily.
Lisa Richards, Nutritionist, The Candida Diet
When you don’t have time to core a pineapple, you can still enjoy a splash of its antioxidant-rich juice from several of KOR’s cold pressed juice shots, including: Intense Defense, Focus Fuel, and more!
Berries are a nutrient powerhouse, because they contain polyphenols, the color compounds that protect our cells from damage. The most important polyphenol in berries is anthocyanin, which is a flavonoid.
These antioxidants can be helpful in preventing inflammation and oxidative stress. Berries are especially good for maintaining the health of many organs, such as the brain, eyes, and digestive system.
Eating different berries as part of your daily diet is the best source of polyphenols and phytochemicals, the color compounds found in vegetables and fruit. Try adding berries to your smoothies or on top of yogurt for an easy and nutrient dense start to your day.
Tuula Vartiainen, Certified Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach, Keho&Co
3. Citrus Fruit
Looking for healthy skin, stronger immune system, and more energy? The best antioxidant rich foods you should be eating are citrus fruits. Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C, one of the essential cofactors for making collagen.
Collagen is essential for strengthening connective tissues, glowing and healthy skin, heart health, and healthy joints.
There are so many citrus fruits to choose from, including oranges, lemons, limes, kumquats, and many more. Adding citrus fruits into your diet can increase your vitamin C levels and provide antioxidant support.
Dr. Ellie Heintze, Naturopathic Doctor, Starting Point Acupuncture
Cordyceps are a medicinal mushroom that have been used in traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine for a very long time. Cordyceps have potent antioxidant properties, meaning they minimize the effects of free radicals on cells.
Kiel DiGiovanni, Co-founder of SetForSet
Just because you’ve never heard of cordyceps doesn’t mean they’re out of reach. Access the medicinal properties of this exotic mushroom with KOR’s Immune+. Not only does this little shot contain 533% of your daily recommended value of Vitamin C, but it’s one of the quickest and easiest ways to enjoy a daily dose of free radical-fighting cordyceps.
5. Almond butter
Typically when you think of antioxidants you think of fruits and veggies, but almond butter is a great option as well. It contains vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease and promote healthy skin and hair. Just one ounce of almond butter provides ~50% of your daily vitamin E needs.
Colleen Christensen, RD
More than 1000 antioxidants have been identified in unroasted coffee beans, with hundreds more developed during the roasting process. In fact, coffee shows more antioxidant activity than cocoa or green tea. Pro-tip: keep your coffee intake at a moderate level (1-2 cups per day), as too much caffeine can have negative side effects.
Tom Bolland, Founder, HappyBarista.com
Dark chocolate has proven to yield excellent results in reducing inflammation and decreasing the risk of disease by raising blood antioxidants levels and good HDL cholesterol.
It also has the potential to prevent oxidative stress, which refers to the damage caused by free radicals in your body. This is also known to reduce systolic blood pressure (upper value) and diastolic blood pressure (lower value) for improved heart health.
Nelson Tuffour, Lead Reviewer, Cardiozero
Kiwis are extremely high in antioxidants and vitamin C, making them great for reducing inflammation. Antioxidants work to remove free radicals and neutralize them before they cause inflammation and damage to your cells and organs. The vitamin C in kiwis also reduces inflammation and boosts your immune system.
Megan Byrd RD, Founder, The Oregon Dietitian
At Kor, we, too, believe in the power of kiwis, which is why we extracted their juice into our De-Stress. This cold pressed juice shot was intended to bring a little Zen to your day, while providing a daily dose of antioxidant-rich ingredients.
Incorporate these foods into your diet to ward off environmental toxins and protect your health. If you’re looking for a little extra dose of antioxidants to add to your day, these KOR shots can help:
- Intense Defense, Focus Fuel & more: for a splash of sweet pineapple juice
- Immune+: for the free-radical fighting power of cordyceps
- De-Stress: for the healing powers of kiwis
Brighten your day with KOR!