Normally, we think of antioxidants in simple, neat terms as foods or ingredients that protect our inner turf by knocking out damaging free radicals at the heart of chronic inflammation and accelerated aging.
Now, we know that many antioxidant-rich foods, like blueberries and turmeric, actually have dual personalities. They still act as protective antioxidants.
But in some instances they also act as pro-oxidants, which we normally think of as the bad guys—but they do it in a sneaky way. They go inside your cells and create the impression of an oxidative attack, triggering your cells to produce about 20 different enzymes that protect the cell. So, you’re getting a powerful one-two-punch against harmful free radicals—helping to stop disease and slow down aging.
Here are the foods that give you protective antioxidant/pro-oxidant protection:
- Turmeric and curcumin
- Herbs such as basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, and dill
- Green, black, and white tea
- Deep red or bright green apples
- Watercress, broccoli, arugula, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, bok choy, and kale
- Red-black Bing cherries
- Lentils and dark red kidney beans
- Golden oats
- Walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds
- Dark green extra-virgin olive oil and green/black olives
- Dark chocolate
- Red Alaskan sockeye salmon
Now it’s your turn: Which of these foods do you eat?