Antioxidants are molecules that inhibit the oxidation of other molecules.
Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals, leading to chain reactions that may damage cells.
Antioxidants such as thiols or ascorbic acid (vitamin C) terminate these chain reactions.
Our body produces free radicals continuously and antioxidants stops their damaging effects.
Our body also produces antioxidants on its own. However, that is not sufficient to stop the damage caused by free radicals. Hence, it is crucial to obtain antioxidants through diet.
Antioxidants benefit the body by neutralizing and removing the free radicals from the bloodstream.
There are wide range of antioxidant in the nature. Different antioxidants provide different benefits to the body.
Some examples are given below.
Beta-carotene (and other carotenoids) is very beneficial to eye health
Lycopene is beneficial for helping maintain prostate health.
Flavonoids are especially beneficial for heart health
Proanthocyanidins are beneficial for urinary tract health.
Astaxanthin, followed by beta-carotene combined with vitamin E protects the screen from exposure to ultra-violet ray.
Astaxanthin also boots immunity and protects us from various diseases.
In order to maintain optimum health we should increase our daily antioxidant intake through food.
Adequate intake of antioxidants guards our body from the following problems:
• Heart problems
• Eye problems
• Memory problems
• Mood disorders
• Immune system problems
In summary antioxidants provide immense benefits to our body, including but not limited to:
1> Slower signs of aging, including of the skin, eyes, tissue, joints, heart and brain
2> Healthier, more youthful, glowing skin
3> Reduced cancer risk
4> Detoxification support
5> Longer life span
6> Protection against heart disease and stroke
7>Less risk for cognitive problems, such as dementia
8> Reduced risk for vision loss or disorders like macular degeneration and cataracts
9> Antioxidants are also added to food or household products to prevent oxidation and spoilage
Antioxidant rich foods:
Cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries ranked highest among the fruits containing antioxidants . Beans, artichokes, and russet potatoes were tops among the vegetables.
Among drinks pomegranate juice contain highest amount of antioxidants followed by red wine.
Following foods contain high amount of antioxidants:
Three major antioxidant vitamins are beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E. You’ll find them in colorful fruits and vegetables, especially those with purple, blue, red, orange, and yellow hues.
Antioxidants often gives color to food items. Therefore, eating foods of different colors means getting variety of antioxidants.
For example, salmon and eggs with bright orange yolks are high in astaxanthin, an important anti-inflammatory antioxidant.
Colorful fruits and veggies are rich sources of antioxidants.
Image already added