The Scoop On Antioxidants and Acai Berries

pomegranatesplit.jpgIt seems to be the new buzzword in the natural food industry. Bottles are labeled with phrases like, “antioxidant superjuice” and “powerhouse of antioxidants”. Advertisers make it appear that nothing, and I mean nothing, is more important than getting some antioxidants in your system. With such strong claims, it seems that there is a cause for concern; Are you getting enough antioxidants? How can one boost their antioxidant intake? And why are antioxidants important to begin with?What is an antioxidant?Free radicals are a naturally occurring by-product of cellular oxygen use; Free radicals are very reactive molecules that cause oxidative stress within the body by means of an unpaired electron. This solo electron looks to snatch an electron away from other chemicals, thus damaging cells. An antioxidant protects cells from these damaging free radicals. Antioxidants sacrifice an electron to the free radical, slowing, preventing, and sometimes repairing damage caused by free radicals.Why are antioxidants important?Oxidative stress caused by free radicals is linked to nearly all chronic diseases, including heart disease, macular degeneration, diabetes, and various forms of cancer. Free radicals are especially linked to problems associated with aging, such as dulling of the skin and hair. Over time, theoxidative stress builds up and without antioxidants to protect cells, the damage can lead to chronic problems.Where are antioxidants found?Antioxidants are found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fish, meats, and spices, as well, as supplements. It seems simple to get enough with a list like this, right? Unfortunately many foods lose their antioxidant richness in process, so stay close to nature. You can’t beat eating the original source!There are numerous foods that are naturally high in antioxidants, some of which are known as superfoods: grapes, pomegranates, tomatoes, berries, dark-leafy greens, flax seed, oatmeal, and walnuts.If you are not the type to eat bowls of raw fruit and veggies all day, there are products out there to help you supplement your antioxidant intake:As mentioned in prior posts, the acai berry of the Amazon rain forest is delicious as a smoothie; Zola Acai and Amazon Acai by ONE are both great options for adding the superfood to your diet. Tahiti Trader’s Noni juice is another high potency nutritional supplement known for its antioxidant kick and detoxifying abilities.If you an looking for antioxidants in a less tropical flavor, products like Kagome or First Blush Grape Juice, might be up your alley. First Blush boosts the antioxidant power of varietal grape juice. Purple grape juice has a higher oxygen radical absorbency capacity than white grape, apple, or orange juice. Kagome is 100% pure blend of vegetable and fruit juices, providing a balance of a wide variety of antioxidants in one serving.How much is enough?The more oxidative stress, the more antioxidants you should take in to protect your cells. There is currently no official minimum daily requirement established, although it is likely to be determined in the near future. Eating a balance diet founded in fruits, veggies, and whole grains should be a solid foundation to protect against the free radicals unleashed during the standard metabolic functioning of the body. In the modern world, additional stress is put on the body in the form of environmental pollutants, such as cigarette smoke, car emissions, mass alcohol consumption, and bacterial, viral, and fungal infections; this leads to the production of more free radicals and causes a need for more antioxidant protection.Taking a supplement, such as grape seed extract or CoQ10, is beneficial for those who live in the city or participate in activities that induce additional oxidative stress.Check out this website that offers you some free acai tester products and a subscription to Fitness magazine.Photo credit: crystalflickr

  • I notice that you mention in your article about Acai. The two products that you mention, (Zolo and One) both are in liquid form. Also to mention that Amazon Acai by ONE is fairly high in surgar. Well as an alternative to being liquid and in a pure form you can get Acai fairly cheap here at All Sandiegans get free shipping too.

  • Joe Fier

    Thanks for including that, buddy. I know you’ve told be about it, but I forgot where to find it. I will definitely have to take you up on this one…

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