It’s almost berry season! The time of year to pick and enjoy the most delicious (and near perfect) fruit nature has to offer. Nutritionally, berries are a superfood because they are rich in antioxidants and low in sugar. You may be wondering what is so important about antioxidants and how this impacts your health. This brief article aims to answer those very questions.
We encounter toxins from the air we breathe, foods with pesticides, hormones, or other additives; alcohol, and various chemical exposures that we may or may not even be aware of in our environment. The liver is responsible for breaking down these toxins in order to process them and remove them from the body. During this breakdown process, the body undergoes oxidative stress. If we have enough antioxidants in our body to neutralize this oxidative stress, then we feel less of the impact. If we do not have enough antioxidants, then we can run the risk of more cellular breakdown and we don’t feel as well.
You may not realize that you are low in antioxidants. Some common signs and symptoms of low antioxidants are:
- Memory loss
- Brain fog
- Muscle and/or joint pain
- Wrinkles and grey hair
- Decreased eyesight
- Headaches and sensitivity to noise
- Susceptibility to infections
Since the human body does not produce antioxidant vitamins naturally, it is essential to include them in our daily diet. Beta-carotene, vitamins A, C, E, and other nutrients like selenium, and zinc are common antioxidants. Your best bet in finding foods high in antioxidants are foods with beautiful, rich colors. Berries are one of the highest food sources of antioxidants. Other good antioxidant sources include citrus fruits and grapes.
If you are concerned that you may be low in antioxidants, our first recommendation is for you to increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables. 6-12 servings a day is going to give your body adequate antioxidants. If your symptoms persist, the physicians at Amber Wellness Group can order labs to assess your antioxidant levels and support you with appropriate supplemental recommendations to help you reach your health goals.