If you're on a quest to nourish your body from the inside out (and why not, right?), a healthy diet and a multivitamin are great starting points. But there's something else you might want to consider: an antioxidant supplement.
First, let's back up and talk a little bit about antioxidants—what they are and why they're beneficial. "Antioxidants are molecules found in your body and in foods including fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and animal products," says Laura Erlich, holistic fertility and obstetric specialist. "Their job is to help your body maintain appropriate levels of free radicals, which are compounds that can damage the cells."
Antioxidant supplements are basically synthetic or whole-food versions of the nutrients found abundantly in these antioxidant-rich foods or produced by your body, she explains. They include vitamins C and E, as well as flavonoids from foods, glutathione, alpha-lipoic acid, and melatonin.
Think of these supplements as insurance, says Kimberly Snyder, CN, founder of Solluna. Though people should try to get antioxidants mainly from food, these high-potency sources can help fill any gaps.
Adding supplements to a healthy diet can help boost levels, which is especially useful if you have pre-identified deficiencies or are faced with illness, injury, infertility, or systemic inflammation, says Erlich. "As an example, vegetarians might need iron or vitamin B12, or in other instances, people with osteoporosis might need extra calcium and vitamin D," explains Snyder. Even the general population can benefit because "unfortunately, we live in a world where we're constantly exposed to free radicals like smog, airborne pollutants, toxins in our water supply, EMFs from phones, and the list goes on," she adds.
While virtually everyone can benefit from a healthy diet, we don't all need to take supplements for the heck of it, says Erlich. So before you grab an antioxidant supplement, be sure to do your due diligence. "While vitamins C and E are both necessary for our survival, too much C can lead to diarrhea, so be careful if you have a sensitive stomach," she explains.
What's more, some formulas may interact with certain medications, says Snyder. It's always a good idea to bring any supplements you're planning to take to your healthcare provider—they'll be able to help you navigate these sorts of issues. And, of course, if you notice any strange symptoms, stop taking the supplement right away and talk to your healthcare provider, adds Snyder.
When searching for the right antioxidant supplement for you, first and foremost, choose supplements that are pharmaceutical-grade, says Erlich. And look for whole food versions as much as possible. The formulas highlighted here are a good place to start:
These tablets are made from organic chlorella and spirulina powder to help support bodily functions like digestion plus boost the immune system and provide excess energy.
Curcumin is poorly absorbed by the body, but black pepper, or bioperine, can act as an absorption enhancer to ensure you're getting the most from your supplement. This particular supplement contains both in one capsule.
This supplement, derived from an Amazonian shrub, has insane amounts of vitamin C—a primary antioxidant. We love this powder since you can easily stir it into a smoothie, oatmeal, or even sprinkle it into tea.
Glutathione not only has powerful anti-aging properties but also protects both the body's organs and cells, keeping them healthy, says Daniel Boyer, MD, a medical researcher at the Farr Institute. This vegan, non-GMO supplement form contains glutathione in its reduced, active form for optimal absorption.
Fermented resveratrol, 24 powdered organically grown fruits and vegetables, live probiotics, and digestive enzymes combine to fight oxidative stress, promote circulation, improve digestion, and combat signs of aging.
Lycopene—an antioxidant found in vine-ripe tomatoes—provides excellent support for heart and vascular health.
This flavonoid, which is naturally found in many foods, such as red wine, onions, green tea, apples, and berries, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to support healthy aging, cardiovascular health, and immune response.
For an all-in-one antioxidant boost, try this supplement, which includes açaí berry, goji berry, pomegranate, and trans-resveratrol for a significant boost of vitamins A and C.
From one of the most popular subscription-based supplement companies comes an antioxidant supplement chock-full of good-for-you ingredients, including 11 superfruits like acerola cherry, açaí, goji berries, and more. It's an excellent source of vitamin C and helps stimulate collagen production and healthy immune function.
Nourish your skin from the inside out with this antioxidant supplement. It contains glutathione, vitamins C and E, and astaxanthin to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sunspots, plus improve skin firmness and elasticity.
Love the idea of taking your daily dose of antioxidants in smoothie form? You'll love this subtly sweet greens powder, which contains both spirulina and chlorella, as well as plant protein to support lean muscle and detoxification, plus improve satiation.
Next, These Are the 8 Best Antioxidants for the Skin, According to Experts
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions.
Brigitt Earley is a freelance writer and editor based in New Jersey. She currently works for a variety of women's lifestyle publications including Oprahmag.com, Good Housekeeping, Apartment Therapy, and more. Most of her content is focused on helping women find all the best products—from beauty and wellness to home décor and beyond—but she routinely pens stories about health and wellness, relationships, parenting, and work. Her previous experience includes more than eight years at Real Simple. In fact, this is where she began her career as an editorial assistant, working her way up to her most recent full-time editorial staffing position as the deputy editor of its website. Before beginning her professional career, she graduated from Loyola University in Maryland with a bachelor's degree in business administration then The Medill School of Journalism with a master's in magazine journalism. She also snuck in a stint at the French Culinary Institute in New York City. When she's not typing away, you can find her cooking something new, starting some renovation or organization project at home, and playing with her two young sons. Sometimes, she can even sneak in a run or—even better!—a barre class.
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