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6 Ways to Boost Your Antioxidant Levels

By Joe Wilkes
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BerriesAntioxidants are everywhere these days. Actually, they've always been everywhere, but now every health food drink and supplement purport that they have the most. What are antioxidants and how can we make sure we're getting the right ones?


WatermelonWhen our bodies metabolize oxygen, free radicals are created which, left unchecked, can cause damage to our cells. Certain nutrients, called antioxidants, have been shown to help protect our cells from free radical damage. These antioxidants include catechins, flavonoids, lignans, lycopene, Vitamins A, C, and E, and zinc. Studies have shown that antioxidants may help prevent cancer, heart disease, stroke, and many degenerative conditions like Alzheimer's and macular degeneration.

However, none of these antioxidants has been shown to be a magic bullet on its own. Therefore, it's best to take a belt-and-suspenders approach to make sure you're eating a wide variety of antioxidants in your diet to get the maximum health benefits. While there are a number of excellent supplements and shakes that can help you get your daily dose of antioxidants, you can get a lot of the best ones from eating a variety of fruits and vegetables.

TomatoesThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend using a color system to get the best results. Remember when your mom told you to eat a green thing every day? She was on the right track, but you should also eat something red, orange, yellow, blue, and white as well. Try and eat something from each color group every day, and you should be covering your antioxidant bases.

  1. The Red Group: Tomatoes, watermelon, guava, papaya, and pink and red grapefruit

  2. The Green Group: Broccoli, spinach, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts

  3. The Orange Group: Carrots, mangoes, apricots, and sweet potatoes

  4. GarlicThe Yellow Group: Pineapple, corn, and pears

  5. The Blue Group: Blueberries, blackberries, and plums

  6. The White Group: Onions, garlic, and leeks
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