Anti-what exactly?

I enthusiastically did an early morning 24 class this week – you know the one where you do 24 different strength moves in 24 minutes with some jumping jacks in between?

It’s such a great class, but super tough. We all walked out exhausted, and while I was thanking my good sense in having had a small snack beforehand, one lady mentioned to me that she should have had grapefruit for breakfast for the antioxidants, which will keep her fit.

If I hadn’t needed every deep breath of air just to get me to the car, I would have told her that that’s not exactly what they do. So, now that I’m breathing calmly, let’s take a quick look at what they do and how we get them:

What do antioxidants do?

Think of them as your inner warriors fighting for a good cause. They basically neutralise other unstable molecules known as free radicals – the bad guys who go around attacking and damaging our healthy cells whenever they get the chance.

A certain amount of this oxidative damage is normal (it happens during respiration, metabolism, when exposed to pollution and sunlight, at sites of inflammation, etc.). Antioxidants help to minimise this damage, but when there are too many free radicals causing persistent damage to our cells, it contributes to aging and illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. So we really need to ensure that there are enough antioxidants to keep oxidative stress at bay.

Where can we get antioxidants?

We get them from healthy food. How easy is that? No supplements needed. If you’re eating a varied diet consisting of loads of fruit and veg, you’re getting a whole lot of antioxidants already, like Vitamin E, Vitamin C and beta-carotene.

Some delicious antioxidant-rich foods and drinks you can tuck into right away include strawberries, blueberries, citrus, tomato, bell peppers, green tea, Rooibos, carrots and green leafy vegetables. Chuck them into salads, add them to your breakfasts and eat them as snacks.

Strawberries are in season right now so grab a Strawberry Stinger or Super Fruit Smoothie from your KAUAI In Motion store after your workout, or make your way to a KAUAI retail store for a summer-style Strawberry and Free Range Smoked Chicken Salad and a freshly squeezed Strawberry with Apple Juice.

As written for the Virgin Active Blog

Image sourced from Pinterest

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