Antioxidant supplements are a great insurance against an imperfect diet. We do take antioxidant supplements in our own household because we simply do not always eat the abundant amount of produce we hope to. In addition, the children in our household are not always prolific consumers of vegetables and a supplement helps fill in the gaps.
Beyond The Abhorrent-Tasting Green Drinks
For an antioxidant supplement, we do take a green powder with chlorella and spirulina at its base, both with a high ORAC value and also associated with helping your body expel radioactive materials, just as a bonus. If you have ever tasted chlorella or spirulina you may have already stopped reading because you will know from experience that there are few powders quite as nasty-tasting as these. My own mother used to encourage make me take spirulina. I remember gagging.
Mom had the right idea because spirulina is a powerful supplement but if you sputter and then gag as you are taking it, your supplementation plan is not sustainable.
On one memorable occasion, my mother sent spirulina with me when I was traveling to Poland. She was horrified later that I had thrown it away early in the trip. “Starving children in Africa could have used that spirulina!” (Mom suggests that is not a direct quote.)
It really is an open question whether starving children would drink a plain spirulina drink.
Times have changed. With the expanding market for antioxidant supplements, companies have gotten creative and made these powders actually palatable. The video at right shows my son actually drinking one of them. (Find this tasty one here.)
“Green” is the word in antioxidant supplements and you will find many products that fit the green bill, not all will fit the “palatable” category. This is the product in the video.
“Diversity” is the other keyword in the world of antioxidant supplements. Just like our best strategy in eating vegetables and fruit is to eat abundant amounts of these fresh foods in as much variety as we can manage, it is also a good strategy to have two or three antioxidant supplements in rotation, taking them every other day (every third day) or rotating throughout the day depending on your health needs and your budget.
These are some other antioxidant supplements that we like because they come from entirely different food sources than our core green antioxidant supplement:
Astaxanthin as an Antioxidant Supplement
This supplement is actually fed to flamingos in captivity — it is the part of the traditional flamingo diet that makes the feathers pink. Without astaxanthin in their diets, flamingos have white feathers. It is the same substance that makes salmon the deep rich orange color found in some salmon species.
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid, the substance associated with making your orange bell peppers orange, your beets red, and your flamingos pink. However, it may be the most powerful carotenoid antioxidant, more powerful than vitamin E or C. Find astaxanthin here.
Resveratrol as an Antioxidant Supplement
Dark grapes (and red wine) are high in antioxidants due primarily to their resveratrol content. Consumers are seeking out resveratrol because of its use as a complementary supplement for cancer prevention and cardiovascular health. When you can get fresh grapes, do enjoy them for their flavor and health benefits. We have abundant access to local grapes through the summer and fall. In places or seasons without great access, these resveratrol supplements concentrate the antioxidant portion of the grape for you. I realize this may be your main excuse to drink red wine and I certainly don’t want to take anything away from you here, but you can get far more antioxidant power in this supplement and you can avoid “drinking your carbs” at the same time. (I write that more for myself, being one prone to drinking my carbs because, of course, red wine is an antioxidant and all.) Check out a well-reviewed resveratrol product.
In rotation and in the context of an antioxidant-rich diet, these are our top picks to date for antioxidant supplements. By ordering through these links, you support this website (without paying more) and our own antioxidant-rich food budget.