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Is The Antioxidant-Craze Crazy?

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It seems that antioxidants are being jammed down our throats lately, both literally and figuratively, with the slews of new antioxidant-enriched products and their promises to prevent everything from aging to cancer. Not only are antioxidants becoming more popular, but the common sources of them are also changing.

We've all known for a while now that red grapes and hence red wine have high antioxidant levels, but nowadays people are more likely to fight cancer by pounding pomegranate juice or trying to pronounce acai than by doing something as pedestrian as eating grapes or drinking wine or grape juice. Foods and products that are fortified with these new sources of antioxidants are all the rage right now. And as with any health craze, some of the new products actually contain the benefits of antioxidants and fight off free radicals, while others just look like they have added antioxidants because they're simply flavored like antioxidant-rich berries.

We've tried out several of the new antioxidant-rich products and examined their ingredients. Some are better than others, but at the end of the day, any of these foods are better for you than some other so-called "diet" foods like cream cheese wrapped in bacon. While these products may or may not keep us cancer free for the rest of our lives, they do add taste and variety to our diets, and so we think this craze is anything but crazy. Check out some of these fun variations:

1. Acai Berry Emergen-C

We love Emergen-C, but it looks like their Acai flavor is simply that - made to taste like acai berries without any of their antioxidant benefits. So don't buy this flavor if you like their Pink Lemonade better, but these little packets do provide tons of nutrients and a great energy boost in the middle of the day. Try skipping your afternoon Starbucks and mixing water or seltzer with some of this fizzy powder. It contains 1,000 mg of Vitamin C and 32 active mineral complexes. You don't even need acai in there for all of that vitamin goodness to do wonders for your hair, skin, and immune system.

2. Absolut Los Angeles

This new limited edition vodka is flavored with an all-natural symphony of blueberry, acai berry, acerola, cherry, and fruity notes of pomegranate. Sounds like the perfect supermodel's meal, right? Just joking. This stuff may not actually benefit your body in any particular way, but over ice it makes for a delicious, refreshing, fruity martini, and you'll feel very trendy drinking it. If you want a real shot of antioxidants, drink Absolut LA with a splash of fresh cranberry juice, and you'll have the very best of both worlds!

3. Mott's Plus Pomegranate Sauce

Each flavor of the new Mott's Plus sauce is fortified with different nutrients, and one of our favorites is the Pomegranate flavor, which is really and truly enhanced with the benefits of antioxidants. This stuff is also delicious, all-natural, and only has fifty calories per serving. We think it's the perfect snack for women who want to treat their bodies well.

4. Jamba Juice Acai Super-Antioxidant

We don't recommend sucking down high calorie smoothies all day long. However, this popular new Jamba Juice flavor does contain real acai juice with all of its benefits, plus the "Antioxidant Power Boost" that they normally charge you an arm and a leg to add. The "original" (medium) size has over 1,000 percent of your daily Vitamin C needs, but it also has 420 calories and almost 30 percent of your daily carbohydrates. The bottom line is that these smoothies are healthy, but they eat more like a meal than a snack, so you should probably try to eat them that way, too.

5. Endangered Species Organic Health Dark Chocolate with Cacao Nibs, Yacon & Acai

This is an organic, vegan dark chocolate with not only the antioxidants of acai berries, but yacon root, which acts as a natural sugar and breaks down slowly in the digestive system. We love hearing that chocolate can be good for us, but the truth is that dark chocolate itself is loaded with antioxidants, so adding extra healthy ingredients isn't really necessary. This stuff is certainly better for you than a Hershey bar, but we think you should find any dark chocolate bar you like the taste of and enjoy antioxidants in their most pleasurable form!

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