The word “antioxidant” gets tossed around a lot, even on our website, because there are valuable antioxidants in coconut oil. But is the term really just a health and wellness buzzword that gets readers to pay attention, or are antioxidants actually important to our wellbeing? The answer to both questions is—. Buzzwords like “super food,” “free-radicals” and “essential fatty acids” do get used a lot in health-related articles. That’s partly because even if we don’t know exactly what they mean, they sound impressive and science-y. The good news is, understanding the role antioxidants play in maintaining good health isn’t a difficult mystery. You don’t need to be Bill Nye the Science Guy to separate the buzz from the reality.
What are Antioxidants?
Our bodies have a mortal enemy called free radicals. Free radicals are harmful molecules that can cause serious damage to your health and are responsible for illnesses such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and some types of cancer. They also cause non-serious but bothersome things like wrinkles, dark spots and less-than-youthful looking skin. There’s no avoiding free radicals. They’re a normal by-product of digestion and other processes that take place within a healthy body. But some free radicals come from pollution in the environment or by the breakdown of certain foods and medications. Through lifestyle choices we can decrease the amount of free radicals we’re exposed to.
Enter the antioxidant! The word itself sounds like some sort of superhero. Look Jimmy, it’s Anti-Oxidant Man! And they kind of are superheroes, protecting us from those gangs of free radicals menacing the streets of our veins and arteries. Promise you won’t be less impressed when you learn the term is simply a collective word for a specific group of vitamins, minerals and flavonoids—those nutrients responsible for the bright colors in fruits and vegetables.
Some of the most common, and most talked about antioxidants are vitamins A, C and E, the mineral selenium and the flavonoids lycopene and carotenoids. These nutrients help decrease the inflammation that’s responsible for many types of disease and provide important nutrition to our bodies at the cellular level.
Are Antioxidants in Coconut Oil?
Antioxidants are abundant in fresh, unprocessed foods. People who eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, including colorful spices, are probably getting all the antioxidants they need. Supplements aren’t recommended or necessary for most people and may cause side effects. It’s much easier and more fun to eat your antioxidants, especially when delicious foods like coconut oil provide them.
I know, I just told you antioxidants come from colorful foods, and coconut oil is white as snow! Coconut oil is one exception to the rule. It’s rich in vitamins E and K and the mineral iron. Vitamin E, especially, is known to help with vision, build a strong immunity system and keep skin healthy and glowing. Fighting free radicals is just one more reason to add coconut oil to your diet, there are so many more.
Not just any type of coconut oil will provide all those age- and disease-fighting antioxidants. Some refined oils have been exposed to high temperatures, bleach and other harsh chemicals that strip the oil of its nutritional value. Rely on cold-pressed, unrefined oil like Coco Treasure Organic Virgin Coconut Oil to provide the delicious taste and high quality that will have Anti-Oxidant Man fighting for you.