I am a HUGE fan of antioxidants. It’s the closest thing we have to the fountain of youth, in my opinion. Why? First, a very brief, but important, science lesson:
After we breathe in oxygen, it travels from our lungs to every cell in our body, helping to turn food into energy. But oxygen can also have negative effects. Body cells are stable when their molecules have a full set of electrons. When oxygen enters the picture, though, they can lose an electron, becoming unstable or oxidized—the same chemical reaction that causes metal to rust.
Stick with me here, the science lesson is almost over (but this is really important to understand, because free radicals are what trigger premature aging—of the body and the skin).
Losing an electron converts that cell’s molecule to an unstable, and damaging, atom known as a free radical. Free radicals can be formed in the body because of sun exposure; smoking (or exposure to secondhand smoke); car exhaust and factory pollution; exposure to allergens; exposure to pesticides (why organic is best) and chemicals (like home cleaning products); and even eating highly-processed foods. Exercise—while amazing for your body and mind—can also create free radicals in the body.
What to do? Well, that’s where antioxidants come in. Antioxidants are nature’s defense against free radicals; they donate missing electrons to free radicals and return them to a normal state.
That’s why I ingest as many antioxidant-rich foods as I can: organic berries; green tea; fresh herbs like oregano and cinnamon; dark
chocolate; almonds; beans; and brightly colored veggies like spinach, broccoli, and red/orange peppers. (I also slather antioxidant products on my skin—day and night.)
But I also look to other sources of antioxidants—and found this great Antioxidant Smoothie Mixer from, of all places, my local Williams-Sonoma (it’s also available online at williams-sonoma.com). It’s a brick-red powder that’s certified organic, vegan (and dairy free), and gluten free—and it’s made from crushed goji berries, pomegranate açai, blueberries, and camu-camu (all amazing sources of antioxidants).
Just mix it in with juice and fresh or frozen berries and some crushed ice (I added a frozen banana instead of ice). And you’ve got a powerhouse drink—for breakfast or a snack anytime. The only downside: it’s $24.95, but you only need one or two tablespoons per smoothie—so the bag should last you a couple of weeks, depending on how often you smoothie! (And if you buy three: one of these Antioxidant Mixers, the Omega-3 Mixer, and their Protein Mixer, you only have to pay $49.95—so definitely a better deal than just buying one.) If you’re into keeping your body as healthy as possible, this is definitely worth a try!
Bonus: my kids LOVE it. In fact, my 18-month old is having his second cupful as I type! But be forewarned: this is one smoothie that stains!