Skip to main content

What Are Antioxidants?

Small brown bowl filled to the top with freshly picked blueberries

What do you think of when you hear the word “antioxidants”? Whether you’re talking to your doctor about eating a healthy diet or your best friend who loves health and fitness, chances are that you’ve heard about the benefits of antioxidants. But what are antioxidants exactly, and what do antioxidants do? Read this article from Emergen-C to find out how antioxidants help support your health today.

What Are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are substances that can slow damage to cells caused by free radicals.[i] Let’s break this concept down, starting with free radicals. Your cells produce free radicals when your body processes food or reacts to the environment.[ii] Free radicals are waste substances, but they aren’t necessarily a bad thing, unless you have too much of them. If the body cannot process and remove free radicals properly it can cause oxidative stress, which can damage your cells.[iii]

This is where antioxidants come into play. Antioxidants counteract free radicals to help reduce cellular damage.[iv] By neutralizing free radicals, antioxidants can help combat oxidative stress.

Where Do I Get Antioxidants?

In general, fruits and veggies tend to be high in antioxidants. There are also other foods—like dark chocolate and green tea—that may also have antioxidant properties. Check out the list below to find foods that contain antioxidants:

  • Berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
  • Artichokes
  • Nuts
  • Dark leafy greens, like spinach and kale
  • Legumes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Squash

Focus on eating a well-balanced diet with antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies to help support your health. Check out some of our recipes for ideas.

Antioxidant Benefits

As mentioned above, antioxidants help neutralize free radicals. By helping reduce free radicals, antioxidants can help support overall health. Recent studies suggest that antioxidants also help support your immune system[v]—which is another reason to include antioxidants in your diet.

Emergen-C products offer antioxidants such as vitamin C, zinc, and manganese along with other vitamins and minerals to help support your health.* Learn more about Emergen-C ingredients today.


* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.



[i] Antioxidants: health benefits and nutritional information. Medical News Today. Accessed 5/13/2020.

[ii] Antioxidants: health benefits and nutritional information. Medical News Today. Accessed 5/13/2020.

[iii] Antioxidants. Better Health. Accessed 5/15/2020.

[iv] Understanding antioxidants. Harvard Health. Accessed 5/15/2020.

[v] Physiological role of antioxidants in the immune system. National library of Medicine. Accessed 5/15/2020.