Antioxidants are what you need to maintain good gut health and to build a strong immune system.
A healthy gut can equal a healthy immune system. When you get plenty of antioxidants, they work to fight against the things that would make you sick. They act like a first line of defense for your body to root out the gunk that can make you sick.
That means that if you get something like a cold, antioxidants can make you feel better and make the side effects of the illness not as severe. Which is good news because if you get a condition such as the flu, then antioxidants can boost your immune system even against the severity of that.
They can also work to fight infections such as those that are caused by bacteria. If you’re at risk for a more serious condition such as cancer, antioxidants work to attack the free radicals which is what can lead to cancer.
So where can you get your hands on this wonder compound? Everywhere. Antioxidants are in certain types of the foods that you eat. The healthier that your meal plan is, the more antioxidants you’re likely to consume.
While many people do strive to eat healthy, they may not seek out foods that are especially rich in antioxidants. But they should. It’s not something to take lightly. Because you need a strong immune system to fight off conditions at all times, but even more so when there’s something like a flu outbreak.
When your immune system is already in good standing, you lessen your odds of catching it. You should create a plan to consume more of this compound at each meal. If you’re not sure what that kinds of foods to eat, you can begin by increasing the amount of fruit servings that you have.
At the same time, add more vegetables to the meals that you eat. With vegetables, you’ll want to eat veggies like carrots or red cabbage. Sweet potatoes and beets are a good choice. So are butternut squash and spinach.
The specific kinds of fruits that contain antioxidants that strengthens your immune system are ones like blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, as well as purple grapes.
Be sure to choose foods that are as close to the way that they’re grown in nature as possible. The more natural the food, the more of the antioxidant that’s preserved. Processing can destroy some or all of the antioxidants.
So can the way that you cook the food. Boiling foods can destroy antioxidants. Foods that contain Vitamin C are especially helpful for contributing to a strong immune system. So is Vitamin E.
But not everything that contains antioxidants are fruits and vegetables. Green tea is rich in antioxidants. This beverage contains antioxidants ranging from 60 to 80 percent of the phenolic compounds.
They’re also antimicrobial which can kill fungal and bacteria that’s harmful for the immune system. Besides green tea, coffee is an antioxidant too. It might surprise you to know that the number of antioxidants in this beverage is greater than what’s in green tea.
If you happen to have a sweet tooth and enjoy eating chocolate, then you’re in luck because the right type of chocolate can also pack an antioxidant punch. Dark chocolate, the kind with over 70% cocoa in it contains plenty of antioxidants.
When you’re considering what foods to eat, look for foods that are high in Vitamin C and E. Both of these are rich sources of antioxidants. You can plan your lifestyle so that you do consume enough antioxidants that will lead to a strong immune system.
You might have to change some things, but it will be worth it. Some people consider whether or not they should add an antioxidant supplement in addition to eating antioxidant-rich foods.
The answer to that is that it’s a personal decision. It does offer some benefits but you might want to try getting your antioxidants through food first especially since research has shown that this is better for you.
You may wonder how much antioxidants you should consume. The answer is that there’s no definitive guideline. Instead, health professionals suggest that everyone eat plenty of vegetables and fruits to get a helpful amount.
Consuming foods with antioxidants is a way to boost gut health because this compound works to protect your digestive system. It can keep your gut lining healthy because it actively works against bad bacteria while boosting good bacteria.
Oleia Ann is a biochemist, agripreneur/organic farmer, formulator of Oleia Topical Oil. She advocates taking organic whole foods for medicine, as she promotes supplementation with high-quality nutrients, antioxidants and herbal extracts when, at times, available foods are lacking in nutritional value or when the immune system is compromised due to unhealthy lifestyle.