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What Are Antioxidants and Why Do You Need Them?

What Are Antioxidants and Why Do You Need Them?

One of the many benefits of Click & Grow greens is that they’re super fresh and a natural source of antioxidants. Let’s take a look at what antioxidants are why your body needs them.

Cells, free radicals and antioxidants

The cells in your body face threats every day, putting up with attacks from infections and viruses. Free radicals, in particular, can damage cells and DNA. Free radicals are molecules that your body produces when breaking down food or when you’re exposed to environmental toxins such as radiation, tobacco smoke, alcohol or pollution. Some cells in your body are able to heal but others cannot. It’s believed that free radicals could contribute to aging and several diseases.

Antioxidants are active compounds found in edible plants that help limit the damage caused by these free radicals. Your body uses antioxidants to balance out the free radicals and stop them from harming other cells. In addition to this, antioxidants boost your immune system. Your body does produce some antioxidants by itself but the best way to get more antioxidants is by adding antioxidant-rich and vitamin-rich food to your diet. Consuming more plant based foods is a great, natural way to do this. In addition to homegrown greens, antioxidants are found in fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. Some of the most common antioxidants are vitamins A, C and E, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and selenium.

Growing antioxidant-rich plants in your indoor garden

Click & Grow’s plants, especially dark leafy greens, are rich in antioxidants. Our gardening team conducts extensive lab analysis to ensure our plants are healthy and safe to consume. Tests indicate that antioxidative activity in fresh Click and Grow lettuce is 3 times higher than lettuce grown in a hydroponic system and 1.8 times higher than store bought lettuce in plastic boxes. The antioxidative activity in a Click and Grow mini tomato is 2.5 times higher than in a regular, grocery store tomato. Fully mature Click & Grow mini tomatoes also contain 2 times the amount of lycopene found in grocery store tomatoes.

This is possible thanks to the way smart soil technology feeds plants. A unique smart soil is created for every plant species in our catalog. Some examples of antioxidant-rich plants you can grow in your Click & Grow smart garden include bloody sorrel, oregano, sage, peppermint, lemon balm and mini tomato.

Increasing your daily antioxidant intake

Introducing more antioxidants into your diet needn’t be difficult. Try these simple steps:

  • Include some homegrown, dark leafy greens with each meal, even snacks.
  • Enjoy a few antioxidant-rich fruits each day, eg. strawberries, apples, cranberries, red grapes, peaches, raspberries.
  • Enjoy 1-2 cups of green tea every day.
  • Consider the colours on your plate. If your food is mostly beige or brown, it’s likely to have low antioxidant levels. Try adding some colourful foods such as kale, chard and mini tomatoes.
  • Experiment using homegrown herbs such oregano, parsley and cinnamon basil to elevate the flavour and antioxidant levels of your meals.
  • If you feel like snacking, try seeds and nuts. Dried fruit, Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds are all great options if they contain no added salt or sugar.

While antioxidants aren’t a miracle cure for disease, they can certainly be beneficial for your overall health. A healthy diet is the ultimate, natural source of antioxidants.

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