Antioxidants are popular in the arena of nutrition because they slow down or mitigate the side effects of the natural oxidation process that occurs when cells oxidize during normal cellular metabolism. What is created during this process are free-radicals - these free radicals can accelerate aging and tissue breakdown. No thank you! This is why supplementing antioxidants help to squelch that effect and support tissue health -repairing; thereby assisting in longevity and overall health.
As far as herbal medicine goes - it’s entirely chocked full of antioxidant power. As a matter of fact, it would be hard to find an herb that wasn’t antioxidant in some way or another. For instance- Turmeric, Ginger, Green Tea, Holy Basil, and Seaweed are naturally very high in antioxidant power. That is one reason they are so highly desired for their anti-inflammatory effects. They mitigate inflammation in the body, and allow for accelerated healing. This involves everything from general pain in the body, to cardiovascular health to brain health, and even cancer.
Vitamin C is a well known and well-studied antioxidant, including in the prevention and treatment of cancer. The ideal source of Vitamin C would be whole food forms such as oranges, other citrus fruits, broccoli, acerola berries, greens (spinach, kale chard), etc. These whole foods are easily assimilated very similar to how whole plant herbs are the best form of antioxidants. In order to benefit from the antioxidant benefits of Vitamin C, it is important for the body to ‘recognize’ it. Therefore the closer to nature it is, the more valuable and useful it is. When sourcing produce we highly recommend choosing your local farmers market - it’s the most fresh and nutrient dense food you can purchase! Check out this link for the San Diego markets!
Vitamin C Supplementation
If you don't get enough vitamin C in your foods to meet your needs (typically during an acute sickness or if you have a chronic inflammatory condition) you may need to supplement.
- When using vitamin C supplements, it is best to find a chelated version to avoid GI upset. Try one like this.
- Liposomal vitamin C (a more bioavailable liquid version) can also avoid GI upset by skipping the gut and being absorbed sublingually (under the tongue). Liposomal means that the vitamin C is in a fat cell that is used as a carrier molecule which aids in absorption. We prefer this liposomal C supplement.
- Fermented Vitamin C in supplement form is beneficial because it comes from natural food sources and therefore reduces the chance that taking higher doses will cause GI upset. This fermented C supplement also packs elderberry and astragalus, making it a top pick for Vitamin C use during acute illness.