You know about the importance of immunity. But did you know about the importance of antioxidants as well? Lots of people talk a lot about antioxidants. Sometimes they're termed "radical scavengers" or "free radicals." However, it's impossible to avoid hearing about antioxidants and their importance, whether from a doctor or a commercial.
Nonetheless, what exactly are antioxidants? What's the big deal about them? Let's read this article to find out what the fuss is about.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are chemicals found naturally in foods and can protect the body from free radicals.When the body responds to stress, it releases free radicals, which are unstable chemicals the body might use to destroy cells. Antioxidants help reduce or stop cell damage caused by free radicals.
Endogenous antioxidants are those that the body makes on its own. Conversely, an exogenous source of antioxidants comes from outside the body.
The body's cells create free radicals as waste products when they break down food and respond to their surroundings. Oxidative stress may occur if the body cannot effectively handle and eliminate free radicals. Cells and bodily functions may be harmed as a result. In addition to being called free radicals, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are also recognized.
Inflammation, for example, may lead to the generation of free radicals in the body, as can pollution, UV exposure, and cigarette smoke.
Oxidative stress has been linked to inflammatory or ischemic diseases like emphysema, Parkinson's disease, and heart disease. It has also been linked to arthritis, cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
Why Is It Necessary To Consume Antioxidants?
Every day, your body's cells are subjected to threats. An infection or virus may infect them. Free radicals may potentially harm your DNA and cells. Some cells may be able to repair themselves while others will not. "Oxidative stress" is a term used to describe the cell damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants may help prevent this damage.
Several activities may result in oxidative stress.
- Contamination of the environment
- excessive exercise
- inflammatory and injury-induced tissue damage
- Intake of processed and refined foods, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, and specific colors and chemicals.
- Ischemic and reperfusion injuries
- mitochondrial activity
- Pesticides and other medications, including chemotherapy, may cause cancer.
- Solvents used in industry
- Tobacco use
Cells may be damaged as a consequence of such actions and exposures. In turn, this might lead to
- Excessive release of ferrous or copper ions.
- Activated white blood cells known as phagocytes, which play an essential role in the fight against infection, are activated.
- An increase in free radical-producing enzymes
- A breakdown in electron transport networks
Any or all of these factors may cause oxidative stress.
Cancer, atherosclerosis, and blindness are all related to oxidative stress damage. Many of these and other disorders may be linked to cell alterations caused by free radicals.
Free radicals, according to science, are chemicals that accelerate aging. Diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease may potentially be linked to them.
Therefore, antioxidants are considered to minimize these risks. Antioxidants are substances that may help mitigate or prevent the damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants help your body maintain a healthy equilibrium of free radicals. As a result, they are unable to harm other cells.
Antioxidants may prevent or even reverse some of the damage caused by free radicals. In addition, your immune system will be strengthened & increase body immunity as a result of taking these supplements. Try taking YourHappy Immunity Fizz, which is made with powerful BioActive Organic Plant Based Extracts (Turmeric - Curcumin Extract, Black Elderberry, Echinacea & Ginger). With 100% of the daily value of vitamins and minerals, these immunity tablets help fight off illnesses, reduce inflammation, boost your body's natural defences, and help you get better faster.
Antioxidants & Food
Antioxidants may be found in hundreds, if not thousands, of compounds. To function correctly, each body part serves a particular purpose and interacts with the rest. Therefore, "antioxidant" is an umbrella term for various compounds instead of a specific ingredient.
Antioxidants that are found include-
- The following nutrients are antioxidant-rich and found in large quantities: vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin C, vitamin E (tocopherol), vitamin K (phylloquinone), and many more.
- Plant-based meals contain antioxidants and phytonutrients like flavonoids, flavones, catechins, polyphenols, and phytoestrogens.
Foods that are high in antioxidants
Antioxidants have specific roles to play and cannot be substituted by one another. This is why eating a diverse array of foods is so vital.
For example, requirements of vitamin B2 and other minerals are crucial for eyesight. In the early stages of research, it seems that riboflavin may be able to prevent cataracts, a condition in which the lens of the eye is damaged, resulting in clouded vision.
Plant-based diets, mainly fruits and vegetables, are excellent sources of antioxidants. A "superfood" or "functional food" is a food that has a high concentration of antioxidants.
Try to incorporate these foods into your diet to get certain particular antioxidants.
- Berry, orange, and bell pepper fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamin C.
- Colorful foods like carrots, peas, spinach, and mangoes, which are high in beta-carotene, are good sources of this antioxidant.
- Dairy products, eggs, and liver all contain vitamin A.
- Lutein is found in green, leafy vegetables, maize, papaya, and oranges.
- Nuts, seeds, sunflower oil, other plant oils, and leafy green vegetables are good sources of vitamin E.
- Tomatoes, watermelon, and other red and pink fruits and vegetables contain lycopene.
- Whole grains, nuts, eggs, cheese, and legumes are all excellent sources of selenium.
Research on Antioxidants
The study states, "Antioxidants serve as radical scavengers, hydrogen donors, electron donors, peroxide decomposers, singlet oxygen quenchers, enzyme inhibitors, synergists, and metal-chelating agents."
Other studies have shown that antioxidant supplements may assist older people with age-related macular degeneration to keep their eyesight as long as possible.
More research is needed to determine if increasing the consumption of specific antioxidants might lower the risk of illness overall. But, unfortunately, the results haven't been helpful, have been wrong, or have been all over the place.
Overall, antioxidants rich foods are essential to help neutralize free radicals in our systems, which in turn is supposed to improve our health.