You hear about antioxidants all the time.  You know they’re good for you.  But do you really know what they are and more specifically, how they work?  Well, we’re here to tell you just how to work them into your diet!

Antioxidants are really essential to anti-aging.  They also help to ward off disease.  Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. They can be found in many foods as well as dietary supplements.  The most common antioxidants are Beta-carotene, Lutein, Lycopene, Selenium, and vitamins A, C & E.  You’ve probably heard of many of those.  But do you know how to work them into your diet?

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Fruits and vegetables are the richest source of antioxidants.  Beta-carotene is a red-orange antioxidant commonly found in green plants, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, spinach, apricots, and green peppers.  Lutein is found in broccoli, spinach, kale, corn, orange pepper, kiwi fruit, grapes, orange juice, zucchini, and squash.  Take it with a high fat meal and your benefits will increase greatly!  Lycopene is found in tomatoes, watermelons, pink grapefruits, apricots, and pink guavas.  Selenium works as an antioxidant, especially when combined with vitamin E.  It is found in button mushrooms, cod, shrimp, tuna, halibut, salmon, and mustard seeds.  Vitamin A is a great antioxidant as well.  It is found in sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots & kale.  Don’t forget your vitamin C!  It is found in peppers, guava, kale, broccoli, oranges and strawberries.  Finally, let’s talk about Vitamin E.  You can find it in sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach and papaya.

One take away from this is that it is pretty easy to find foods you love that are loaded with antioxidants.  Work them into your diet, and see your aging slow down.  Feel healthier and look better!