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Get to Know TheseAntioxidant Supplements and Foods to Empower Your 2022 Health Journey

Nowadays, it’s hard to not encounter a product or an ad that promises to fight disease with antioxidants. So what are antioxidants, and how do they impact your health?

There’s a reason why antioxidants are trending in the health and wellness industry—they play a pivotal role in protecting our bodies from cell damage, illness, and signs of aging.

2022 is all about taking ownership of your health. A big part of this involves taking the time to understand whysomething might be beneficial for you, so you can ultimately become experts in what matters most—your health.

As much as there are advantages to antioxidants, there are also misconceptions you should be aware of. You need to understand both to ensure you select the right antioxidants for your health plan.

With that said, let’s take a look at what antioxidants are, how they work, the top antioxidant supplements, and foods that should be a vital part of establishing your superior health journey.

What Are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals—unstable molecules that damage cells—in your body.

Ultimately, antioxidants help slow or delay the cells that cause illnesses and signs of aging. Some of these illnesses might include the standard cold or flu, diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer. Research also shows antioxidants can help fight signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles.

How Free Radicals Work

The key to understanding antioxidants is knowing how free radicals work in our bodies.

We carry trillions of cells, all of which face constant threats. Some of these threats might come from not eating enough nutrients, which can lead to fatigue or headaches, and viruses, which can give us illnesses like the common cold.

Another major threat? Free radicals. Free radicals develop naturally inside of us in two ways:

  1. Metabolism.The body produces free radicals as byproducts of the metabolic process.
  2. External toxins. Toxins from cigarette smoke, air pollution, sunlight, and processed foods invite and build more free radicals in the body.

Without getting too deep into the science, free radicals lack electrons, so they steal electrons from other molecules. This damages molecules, and the more frequent this becomes, the more susceptible your body is to oxidative stress—an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants.

If not managed, oxidative stress can lead to health conditions like:

  • Wrinkles and gray hair
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Cardiovascular issues (high blood pressure, stroke, etc.)
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Cancer

How Antioxidants Work

Antioxidants keep free radicals in check by donating electrons to free radicals. This neutralizes the radicals and switches off their damaging effects. Though they can’t entirely stop oxidative stress, antioxidants can mitigate and prevent the negative effects free radicals trigger.

The human body naturally produces antioxidants in two ways:

  1. The cells in our bodies naturally create antioxidants, such as alpha lipoic acid and glutathione.
  2. We also gain additional antioxidants from external sources—foods and supplements.

Nutrients That Are Antioxidants

So what exactly are antioxidants made of? There are seven main nutrients and chemicals that possess antioxidant properties:

  1. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps control infections and heal wounds. It can also build collagen—the structural protein primarily responsible for building healthy joints and skin elasticity.
  1. Vitamin E: Vitamin E carries alpha-tocopherol—a fat-soluble nutrient that helps prevent cell damage. Vitamin E keeps your bodily processes working normally, like helping nerves and muscles function right, preventing blood clots, and boosting the immune system.
  1. Vitamin A: Vitamin A is another fat-soluble vitamin and antioxidant that helps protect eyesight, immune system, skin, and reproductive organs. There are two different forms of vitamin A—preformed vitamin A and provitamin A. Preformed vitamins are compounds the body can use as-is (mostly found in animal products), while provitamins are inactive compounds (found in plants) that are activated by the body.
  1. Carotenoids: Carotenoids are pigments that produce the bright yellow, red, and orange colors in plants, fruits, and vegetables. There are over 600 types of carotenoids, some of which convert to vitamin A. Carotenoids are linked to better cognitive function and skin, lung, and eye health.
  1. Selenium: An essential mineral, selenium can only be obtained through your diet. Though the body only requires trace amounts of selenium, it plays a vital role in the reproduction and metabolism of thyroid hormones. It’s also been linked to heart and cognitive health.
  1. Zinc: Zinc is a trace mineral, which means the body only needs small amounts of it. It’s an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that plays a large role in DNA creation, cell growth, protein synthesis, tissue repair, and immune function.
  1. Phenolic compounds: Phenolic compounds are a class of chemical compounds found in food plants that are responsible for the color of red fruits, juices, and wines. These compounds comprise various antioxidant flavonoids (classes or plant pigments) such as quercetin, catechins, resveratrol, coumaric acid, and anthocyanins.

Keep in mind:

  • Antioxidants are not interchangeable. As illustrated above, every chemical possesses unique properties that play different roles in the body. For example, Vitamin C can’t provide what Vitamin E offers and vice versa. Therefore, no single nutrient can perform the work of all antioxidants.
  • The term “antioxidant” does not refer to substances. It simply refers to the chemical abilityto donate electrons. While some substances do act as antioxidants, in other situations, they can act as pro-oxidants, or electron stealers.

The Benefits of Eating Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Though the human body carries its own antioxidant defenses to fight free radicals, antioxidants can also be found in foods. Eating foods rich in antioxidants can be a natural way to combat free radicals associated with health issues and overall, adopt a healthier diet.

But of course, everyone’s bodies are different, so as you explore through the list of antioxidant-rich foods, be sure to consult with a physician or registered dietitian before incorporating these into your daily regimen.

The Benefits of Antioxidant Supplements

Due to ongoing degradation of our air, water, and food quality, antioxidant supplements can be a great way to go above-and-beyond what food alone can provide. Even though further research needs to be done on the effects antioxidant supplements can have on health conditions, supporting your health goals with them can be a proactive way to:

  • Fill in any nutrient gaps you may have
  • Help your body delay the onset of conditions linked to chronic diseases and aging

The Safety of Antioxidant Supplements

Though antioxidants supplements can offer numerous health benefits, there are precautions you should be aware of:

  • The differences in the amount of antioxidants in food vs. supplements: Researchers indicate the chemical composition of antioxidants is greater in foods than in supplements. For example, while eight chemical forms of vitamin E might be present in foods, supplements typically only have one of those forms. Therefore, it’s important to primarily rely on food to get your antioxidants and then fill in the gaps with supplements.
  • Taking higher than normal amounts of antioxidant supplements can be harmful: For example, high amounts of vitamin E have been linked to higher risks of prostate cancer and internal bleeding. Antioxidant supplements might also interact with certain medications. Therefore, it’s crucial to follow intake instructions carefully and to speak with your doctor prior to taking supplements.
  • Not all supplements are created equal: There are several supplement brands out there, and it’s crucial to do your research in ensuring that what you buy stays true to the ingredients, safety, and potency the products promise. At Superior Labs, our team produces supplements that are 100% free of any harmful additives to ensure the ingredients are pure and deliver all of their benefits. We are a cGMP-certified company regulated by the FDA.

The Best Antioxidant Supplements

With that said, let’s dive into the best antioxidant supplements to consider. All of these come from Superior Labs’ line of antioxidants, so be sure to check them out to find ways to further support your health goals.

  1. Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha Lipoic Acid is a naturally-occurring antioxidant found in the body. It helps the body protect its cells by interacting with vitamin C and glutathione.

As a result, the supplement can help promote healthy:

  • Skin
  • Cognitive function
  • Nervous system
  • Kidney and bladder function
  • Inflammatory response
  1. Yeast-Free Selenium

Selenium is a mineral trace element and natural antioxidant that protects the body against free radicals. More specifically, it plays a vital role in thyroid hormone reproduction and metabolism.

  1. CoQ10

CoQ10 is a natural antioxidant found in our body’s cells. The antioxidant specifically supports healthy heart function, energy production, muscular contraction, and protein synthesis. Superior Labs’ COQ10 supplements include MCT derived from coconut oil and black pepper extract for optimal bioavailability and absorption.

  1. Elderberry

A small berry that grows on the European Elder Bush, elderberries are packed with antioxidants that can support a healthy immune system.

Though more research is needed, studies illustrate people who take elderberries during a cold or flu, experience faster recovery than those who do not. Also, because elderberries contain high levels of vitamin A, they’ve been linked to better skin (i.e., reducing wrinkles and helping with acne).

  1. Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba has a significant history in traditional Chinese medicine. Its herb comes from one of the oldest living tree species and is rich in antioxidants, which can help support heart health, circulation, and brain health.

  1. BurnWORx

BurnWORx supplements contain Capsimax®—a natural capsicum extract derived from quality chili peppers. Studies show Capsimax® has antioxidant properties that support cellular health.

  1. Grape Seed Extract

Grape seed extract can support a healthy response to oxidative stress and tissue damage. Studies even show that grape seeds carry phenolic acids such as proanthocyanidins, which carry antioxidant contents that are 20 times greater than vitamin E and 50 times greater than vitamin C.

  1. Lion's Mane

An edible and medicinal mushroom, lion’s mane contains powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that allow you to support your immune function, cognitive function, and support blood sugar levels.

  1. Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is a flowering herb from the daisy and ragweed family. Its main active component is silymarin, a free-radical fighter that helps support healthy skin, liver function, and cognitive function.

Age Fiercely with the Help of Antioxidant Supplements

2022 is all about taking ownership of your health to age fiercely. And this journey begins at Superior Labs. Here, our team ensures our supplements are 100% free of any harmful additives to ensure our ingredients deliver all of their benefits.

So don’t forget to check out our antioxidant supplements line today to empower your way to better health.

Dr. Stephanie Nishek, ND, reviewed this article. Read more about her inher bio.