Your body’s cells face internal and external threats from viruses, infections, and free radicals every day. Some cells can heal from the damage, while others cannot. Scientists believe that free radicals can contribute to the aging process and damage the DNA. They also play a part in causing cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Antioxidants play an essential role in preventing such diseases.
So, “what is a good antioxidant?” Many antioxidants provide different health benefits, so choosing one can be challenging. However, you can go through their functions and benefits and choose the supplements according to your requirement.
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are substances that can combat or inhibit oxidative reactions. They can slow down or prevent free radical damage to cells. They are often referred to as “free radical scavengers.”
The antioxidant enzyme systems can be classified as endogenous enzymes produced by our bodies and exogenous enzymes introduced into the body through food or supplements.
Vitamins, carotenoids, and phenolic compounds are natural antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables.
Benefits of Antioxidants
Fight Free Radicals
As mentioned earlier, antioxidants fight against free radicals and prevent various diseases. They provide an electron to free radicals, thus stabilizing them and making them harmless.
Improve Mental Health
The brain is particularly vulnerable to free radicals. They cause damage, especially to the hippocampus, the region involved in learning and memory. In addition to harming hippocampus cells, oxidative stress also reduces neurogenesis (new brain cell generation).
Antioxidants can be used as part of the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. Researchers believe eating antioxidant-rich foods can help reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety and improve your mental health.
Improve Your Eyesight
The onset of AMD in adults over 60 years of age is one of the most common causes of permanent vision loss. Consuming a diet high in antioxidants can decrease your chances of getting AMD by up to 25%.
Those who have already developed AMD can get more out of their vision by consuming antioxidant-rich foods or supplements. They may also help prevent cataracts.
Support Healthy Aging
There is a close relationship between oxidative stress, aging, and inflammation. Antioxidants are crucial for protecting DNA as well. By eating a variety of antioxidant-rich foods, you can delay age-related diseases. They reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, thereby preventing DNA and telomere damage.
Foods Rich in Antioxidants
All chocolate lovers will be delighted to hear this news! Chocolate is actually quite healthy, so there’s no shame in indulging in it occasionally. Dark chocolate and cocoa both are packed with antioxidants- flavonoids and polyphenols.
This green vegetable contains a lot of Vitamin C, making it a super immunity booster. This cabbage family member is full of fibre and antioxidants, such as flavonoids, carotenoids, lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene. Due to its protein content, it is particularly beneficial for vegetarians.
Antioxidants are abundant in all varieties of beans, including black, red, pinto, and kidney beans. Beans also contain muscle-building protein, are low in fat, and have no cholesterol. When combined with grains, they become a complete protein. Add them to your salads and sandwiches.
You can incorporate beetroot into salads, soups, or juices. It is packed with potassium, manganese, iron, folate, and antioxidants like polyphenols and betalains. Its juice is beneficial for detoxification, which produces a naturally glowing complexion.
Almost all nuts are very healthy, and experts recommend eating at least 30 grams of nuts a day. Walnuts are cholesterol-free, high in antioxidant- polyphenol, and low in sodium.
There are many different antioxidants, and each one has its own properties and benefits. Also, if consumed too much, they can do more harm than good. Therefore, if you have any questions about anti-oxidant, including, “what is a good antioxidant?” consult your doctor to avoid any problems.
There are various antioxidant-rich foods that you can easily find at your nearest grocery store. Alternatively, you can also consider purchasing supplements rich in antioxidants, as they solve the same purpose.