Antioxidants and antioxidants rich food are some buzz words that have been around for some time now. We often see packaged food boasting about these and are compelled to buy that. Yes, antioxidants are healthy and should be a part of your body, but it’s important to understand Why and How to make educated decisions about their consumption.
What are Antioxidants?
We have trillions of cells in our body. Each organ of our body, be it our skin, tongue, heart, or muscles; are made up of cells. These cells produce free radicals as a waste by-product, and as a reaction to stress, illnesses, or environmental pollution, etc.
Scientists have found out that these free radicals are harmful to the body and can lead to early aging, vision loss, heart diseases, arthritis, compromised immunity, and cancer along with other complications. I’m pretty sure after hearing that you would obviously want to get rid of these damaging free radicals.
Antioxidants do just that! They are molecules that neutralize or cancel the overall effect of free radicals in the body, which improves our health. Some of these are produced by our body, whereas some we obtain from our diet.
There are several types of antioxidants, and each performs a unique function. Therefore, it is important that we consume a balanced diet to enjoy variety and benefits. Some of the examples are:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Lipoic Acid
- Uric Acid
Taking a diet rich in antioxidants is bound to be beneficial for your heart, skin, bones, and overall health. Let’s learn about the benefits in detail:
1. Great for Heart Health
Antioxidants are super beneficial for heart health and can even prevent one from developing heart diseases down the road. They prevent plaque formation along the artery walls which can otherwise narrow down or block blood flow, causing stress on the heart.
Moreover, research shows that Vitamin C intake can reduce the risk of heart stroke by half.
2. Prevents Cognitive Decline
The brain is the most important organ of the human body, and a healthy brain means a healthy body. Many scientists believe that Oxidative stress or free radicals are the root cause of diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Increasing one’s intake of antioxidants can, therefore, neutralize and reduce the effect of free radicals and improve our cognitive health.
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3. Improves Vision
It goes beyond saying what a blessing the sense of sight is. American Optometric Association states that antioxidants such as Vitamin C and E can reduce the progression of cataract within 3 years. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are also too are helpful in preventing against age-related eye muscles degeneration.
Whereas Vitamin A has shown promising results in protecting the eye retina and preventing night blindness.
4. Boosts Immunity
Our body is constantly in the process of neutralizing the effect of free radicals formed in the body. When we increase our antioxidant intake, we help our body fight against these free radicals more efficiently, thus supporting our immune system.
Antioxidants such as Vitamin A, C, E, and catenoids are beneficial in promoting our body’s immunity.
5. Great for skin
The process of aging not only deteriorates our internal organ, but it also produces telling signs on our skin, such as wrinkles, sunspots, and loss of elasticity of the skin. You’ll be glad to learn that as per studies, antioxidants are great for skin-related issues such as premature aging, acne, and skin cancer, etc.
Now that you’ve learned about some of the benefits of antioxidants, I’m pretty sure you are looking for a way to include them in your diet. The good news is that fruits and vegetables are rich in all kinds of antioxidants.
But you must keep in mind that different kinds of fruits and vegetables have different and unique kinds of antioxidants, so consuming a variety of these foods is the key to reaping all the benefits they have to offer.
Some of the foods rich in antioxidants are:
Oranges and Lemons: Oranges and Lemons are simply considered as one of the greatest sources of antioxidants. It aids immunity, protects against weight gain and kidney stones, treats indigestion. Above all, it detoxifies the body in the easiest manner.
Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate is a great source for antioxidants which are proven to be beneficial against inflammation and heart diseases.
Grapes: These yummy little fruits are a great source for phytochemicals, an antioxidant that helps to fight against cancer.
Blueberries: Blueberries is full of vitamins and minerals which greatly improves our immune system. It also has phytochemicals which are beneficial against cancer and heart diseases.
Some other foods rich in these are:
- Green Vegetables such as spinach and kale
Antioxidants are a great way to fight against diseases, improve immunity, vision, and fight against the signs of aging. Instead of taking supplements, you should always review your diet and include fruits and vegetables in your meals.
Bright and rich colored fruits and vegetables are a great source for antioxidants and should be consumed daily to improve your quality of life.
And still, If you have any questions about this post. Ask me in the comments section below! Cheers!!