You’d have to be living under a rock to not know that blueberries are high in antioxidants. You hear the hype and you know it’s good for you, so you eat them.

…but do you know what an antioxidant even is?? And why you should care?

Don’t feel ashamed. Most people don’t know or give it a second thought. I’m here to explain antioxidants in layman’s terms, so you can understand why you want them in your diet.

It all starts with toxins…

Toxins | Tami McVay - Wellness & Lifestyle Coach

Our daily life is full of toxins from the air that we breathe, the chemicals we clean with, the beauty products we use, fried foods, alcohol, tobacco…the list goes on and on!

When we eat these things or absorb them into our bodies, those toxic molecules, or free radicals, float around wreaking havoc on our cells and DNA.

Even exercising causes free radicals! (But don’t stop! 🙂 )

Free radicals are like a little gang wandering around your body trying to find some mischief to get into! If you control your environment to lessen the amount of free radicals you’re exposed to, then the less damage they can do.

If you’re boozing it up on the weekends and eating fried foods to help your hangover, you’re going to be building up a big ass gang. The more you have, the more damage they do…a full on rioted attack on your cells!

And all that attacking and cell damage = D I S E A S E!

An Antioxidant Walks Into a Bar…

When you gobble up some blueberries, it releases antioxidants into your body.

Antioxidants are like the sweet girl who’s attracted to the bad boy (the free radical)…you know the one… the guy with tats, wears leather jackets, cusses enough to make a sailor blush, and all fathers cringe when they see him coming to pick up their daughters.

Only in this fairy tale, the sweet girl calms the bad boy down and mellows him out. No more trouble making days!

Antioxidants seek out these free radicals, attach to them, and neutralize them in their tracks. This prevents them from causing any more damage to the cells.

(If you’re a science geek, then you can read the more scientific explanation in this Stanford article.)

Where Can I Find Antioxidants?

Antioxidants on forks | Tami McVay - Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Luckily, there’s all kinds of great sources of antioxidants like fruits and veggies, fish, and nuts.

You can also take supplements like Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA), CoQ10, Ubiquinol, and Reservatol.

These all have AMAZING brain benefits!!

This excellent article by Dr. Mercola really digs into the different types of antioxidants, the benefits, and the sources.

Here is a short list of power packing foods:

  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Red/purple grapes
  • Dark greens
  • Wild salmon
  • Carrots
  • Walnuts
  • Green Tea
  • Acai berries
  • Dark chocolate (yippee!)

A Happy Ending

I teach my clients that they don’t have to give up all of the foods they love. They just need to offset some of the damage with tools like antioxidants.

If you’re taking action to control the amount of cell damage that you are doing to yourself (with a little help from our environment!), then it allows you to splurge a little while still being healthy.

My motto: I do more things right than I do wrong. Taking this approach leads to a positive healthy lifestyle in the long run! Tweet that!

And the best part is when you have less cell damage, you feel better, less apt to get sick, and even look younger! And who doesn’t like that?!

Take Action Now

Tell me in the comments below what your favorite source of antioxidants is. I love trying new recipes!

Photo credits: © (Title), (Toxins), (Antioxidants)