Let’s get scientific. Everyone knows that antioxidants are good, but what exactly are they again? And what do they do, and how do they do it? And how can I get more in my life? Well, we found a great article on understanding oxidants by David Wolfe, and we’d love to share some of it here:
Antioxidants are compounds that are particularly rich in hydrogen and excess electrons, usually visible to our eye as pigments of color in plants. The richly pigmented plants prove to be the easiest way to discover and track down where real antioxidant values are to be found. Superfoods ranging from cacao to acai to goji berries to spirulina to blue-green algae all contain extraordinarily-rich antioxidant content. All raw, pure fats and oils are antioxidants as they contain excess electrons: not only are richly-colored foods loaded with antioxidants, but so are all raw olives, avocados, nuts, and seeds.
Antioxidants are known to stop runaway free radicals. Free radicals are aggressive oxygen molecules that oxidize and damage tissue, creating problems in every cell they touch. Free radical damage has been implicated in numerous symptoms ranging from skin wrinkles all the way to cancer. So the more antioxidants you consume, the better, due to the ability of antioxidants to quench and deactivate free radicals.
Vitamins A, C, and E are considered antioxidants. Vitamin A is a metabolite of beta-carotene, a red pigment commonly found in plants (e.g. goji berries, carrots, etc.). Vitamin C is a well-known antioxidant with a tremendous volume of research behind it. Natural vitamin C sources (Camu berry) instead of simply ascorbic acid are best. Vitamin E has undergone substantial revision in recent years as its antioxidant value varies with quality and type (tocotrienols or tocopherols). Tocotrienols are more powerful Vitamin E antioxidants than tocopherols.
The only known atom that acts independently as an antioxidant is hydrogen. Hydrogen neutralizes free radicals instantly (and completely) with no byproducts leftover except water. Ultimate Mega H Minus (a hydrogen supplement) is perhaps the world’s strongest antioxidant supplement.
Other than taking a supplement, the most powerful way to increase antioxidant consumption is by combining raw cacao powder, which has the highest antioxidant count known, with a high-antioxidant berry, like goji, acai or camu berries. The berries help the body absorb all those antioxidants, sometimes up to triple the absorption. How fortunate for us that these ingredients are so delicious as well – they all make great additions to smoothies!