ASK THE EXPERT: What are antioxidants anyway? Featuring Dr. Jennifer Tanner, ND

About the Ask the Expert Blog Series

Welcome to my new Ask the Expert blog series. As I continue to learn and grow in my health and wellness journey, I find myself asking so many health questions. Big or small, answers to these questions have helped guide and teach me new things about my mental health, physical health, and the ever-so-quickly growing holistic health world.

Having started my blog just over two years ago, I’ve come to realize that I’m not the only one with a lot of questions. So many of us want to learn more about our health, the impact of what we eat, how we move, think, feel, and more. This got me thinking, why not create a space where I could ask common health and wellness related questions to top experts in the field?! Keeping it simple and fun (I try :D), this new series on benefits every reader and provides an opportunity to learn and *drum roll*… ask even MORE questions!  

And just like that, with a little ambition, love, and blog creation magic, my first Ask the Expert blog series post is here! I’m excited to start the series and dive into the first post. Without further adieu let’s get into it…

About the Expert

Dr. Jennifer Tanner: ND

Dr. Jennifer Tanner graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a degree in Honours Kinesiology. Following graduation she took time to travel and work at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympic Games. She spent the next four years studying the art and science of Naturopathic Medicine and was involved with the Naturopathic Sports Medicine Group.  

She employs all the modalities of Naturopathic Medicine in her practice but has a special interest in Nutrition, Acupuncture, Women’s Health and Sports Medicine.

Ask the Expert : What are antioxidants anyway?

I connected with Dr. Tanner to learn more about her passion for health and pick her brain on what the heck antioxidants really are and how they impact our bodies.

1. How long have you been working in health and wellness?

I have been practicing as a Naturopathic Doctor for 12 years. It is such a rewarding field to be in. I contemplated medicine or Physiotherapy as a career. When I came across Naturopathic Medicine as an option it felt right.

2. What triggered your passion to become a naturopathic doctor?

I feel that I am incredibly lucky. I’ve been blessed with many amazing moments in my life. I choose to embrace life and I don’t want my patients symptoms to hold them back from truly experiencing life. I also feel it’s important to give back; providing patients with the tools to heal opens up so many windows of opportunity. I believe education is the key to wellness -understanding our body is the key to understanding our solution.

3. About antioxidants… what does the term “antioxidant” really mean?

I think of antioxidants as soldiers. Their job is to combat Cell damage. 

4. Why are antioxidants important?

Antioxidants are important as they help fight free radical damage. Free radicals contribute to cell damage. This plays a role in aging and chronic disease.  Everyday life incurs free radicals. However increased activity, competitive athletes, the aging process, processed foods and environmental pollutants can increase the rate a free radical production. This is where antioxidants come into play. 

5. How do antioxidants benefit overall health?

They benefit by preventing or minimizing oxidation,  therefore stabilizing and protecting cell membranes. Many organ systems benefit from antioxidants including our eyes and skin. Therefore antioxidants tend to be used in a lot of anti-aging formulas.

6. What are some of the best sources of antioxidants?

Some of the best sources of antioxidants are glutathione, CoQ10, Vitamin C, proanthocyanidins found in grapes, Vitamin-E just to name a few!

7. What is the best way to incorporate antioxidants?

I always view our food as medicine. Therefore to encourage detoxification and keep your skin glowing, include antioxidant-rich foods into your daily routine. Blueberries, cranberries, pecans, dark chocolate, artichoke, elderberries and kidney beans are a few foods high in protective antioxidants.

8. What are some of your favourite antioxidant rich foods?

I really enjoy…

  • antioxidant rich smoothies, including; half a cup of blueberries, half a cup of blackberries, a cup of coconut milk, a banana, a tablespoon of chia seeds and nut butter.
  • plant-based chili made with kidney beans and cilantro.
  • trail mixes that include; pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, chunks of dark chocolate, pecans, almonds, and sunflower seeds.

Thanks for checking out my first Ask the Expert blog post! To learn more about Dr. Tanner visit her website,

Have a holistic health and wellness question? I’d love to hear it! Share it with me in the comment section below or message me on any of my social media channels for the chance to have it featured as a future Ask the Expert blog post.

Helping you put Wellness 1st,


This blog post was not sponsored.

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