What do antioxidants do to the body?
We all know that antioxidants are “good for you” and essential to good health - but do you really know what antioxidants do to your body?
What is an Antioxidant?
An antioxidant is a special molecule found in your body or in certain foods. They protect your cells from being damaged by free radicals, and prevent chain reactions from happening in your body. There are many types of them and they can be water- or fat-soluble. Vitamin C, for example, is a water-soluble antioxidant and Vitamin E is fat-soluble antioxidant.
What is a free radical?
A free radical is an unstable molecule that needs to take or give away an electron to stabilize. They are formed in the body during normal functions like exercising and breathing, but can also be triggered by uv radiation, pollution or unhealthy diets.
So what happens when too many cells are damaged by free radicals?
Of course, affected cells may not function properly or may die. Because of this, your life depends on the intake of certain antioxidants to reduce free radical damage, namely vitamins C and E. Berries, green tea, coffee, dark chocolate and even avocado seeds are full of antioxidants. which are known to be a good source of antioxidants. Meat products and fish also contain antioxidants, but to a lesser extent than fruits and vegetables.
In other words, antioxidants are essential for human survival.
Health Benefits of antioxidant to your body
Because antioxidants have the power to neutralize your body and protect it from free radicals or by-products, it should be included in your diet and drink to keep your body healthy.
How Antioxidants Can Help Your Body
1. Fight Free Radicals
Antioxidants are known for their ability to fight free radicals.
But what are free radicals?
Free radicals are molecules in your body with unpaired electrons. Your body is made up of paired electrons, and since free radicals are unpaired, they have a habit of stealing or capturing electrons from other molecules in order to pair them with their own, causes a domino effect that damages cells.
How are these free radicals obtained?
When your body is exposed to activities like too much exercise, cigarette smoking, radiation, consumption of certain foods like refined and processed, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, certain dyes and additives, or environmental factors like pollution, radiation that damage cells and body functions.
Fortunately, you have superheroes in your body. They are antioxidants, they give off one of their electrons through free radicals without destabilizing themselves. They stop free radicals from causing a chain reaction from damaging cells.
2.Reduce Oxidative Stress
What is oxidative stress? This occurs when there is an imbalance between the activity of pro-oxidants (free radicals) and antioxidant activity. See the picture below ..
When the prooxidants increase and the antioxidants decrease, oxidative stress occurs.
One of the reasons for this is cell damage. And when this happens there is a risk of some serious illnesses like; Cancer, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's that will develop.
What are the reasons for the increase in prooxidants? You can get this from smoking, exposure to UV / sunlight, or being exposed to too much pollution. On the other hand, when your body lacks vitamins C, E and nutrients in your diet, the antioxidants decrease.
In the average person, most everyday lifestyles cause a lot of oxidative stress, which can be caused by lack of sleep, dehydration, poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption, and exposure to the sun.
On the positive side, there are things you can do to minimize the effects of oxidative stress on your body. The most important thing you can do is increase your antioxidant levels and decrease the formation of free radicals.
One way to prevent oxidative stress is to make sure you have enough antioxidants in your diet. Eat at least five servings of different fruits and vegetables daily to provide your body with the antioxidants it needs.
Examples of good sources of antioxidants include:
Allium Sulfur Compounds - Leek, Onion, and Garlic
Anthocyanins - Eggplant, Grape, and Berry
Beta Carotene - Pumpkin, Mangoes, Apricot, Carrot, Spinach, and Parsley
Catechins - Avocado seeds, Red Wine and Tea
Copper - Seafood, Lean Meat, Milk and Nuts
Kryptoxanthines - Peppers, Pumpkin and Mangoes
Flavonoids - Avocado seeds, Tea, Green Tea, Citrus Fruits, Red Wine, Onions and Apples
Indoles - Cruciferous Vegetables such as Broccoli, Cabbage and Cauliflower
Isoflavonoids - Soy, Tofu, Lentils, peas and milk
Lignans - sesame, bran, whole grains and vegetables
Lutein - leafy green vegetables like spinach and corn
Lycopene - tomatoes, pink grapefruit and watermelon
Manganese - seafood, lean meat, milk and nuts
Polyphenols - Avocado seeds, thyme and oregano
Selenium - shellfish, offal, lean meat and whole grain products
Vitamin A - liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, milk and egg yolks
Vitamina C - oranges , black currants, kiwis, mangoes, broccoli, spinach, peppers and strawberries
Vitamin E - vegetable oils (such as wheat germ oil), avocados, nuts, seeds and whole grain products
Zinc - Shellfish, Lean Meat, Milk, and Nuts
Zoo Chemicals - Red Meat, Offal, and Fish. Also obtained from plants that animals eat.
Researchers found that avocado seeds also have a higher content of antioxidants than the pulp.
3. Helps Slow Down Aging
We often buy products that contain antioxidants because we believe that the more you put on the skin, the better. And just as your diet requires a combination of healthy and beneficial nutrients, so does your skin. The skin is the largest organ in your body, so it's important to nourish its surface with beneficial ingredients like antioxidants.
Antioxidants not only help fight the elements responsible for the visible signs of aging, but can also soothe the skin, help it look more youthful, and revitalize dull looking skin by deactivating the free radicals that cause aging .
In fact, there is a specific study backed by accumulated evidence showing that dietary vitamin E protects against oxidative DNA damage in human lymphocytes and white blood cells, New Evidence of the Physiological Functions of Antioxidants, in addition to their known function as free of radical scavengers radicals.
Living a healthy lifestyle is an important factor in protecting and maintaining the health of your eyes. Foods that are considered eye-flattering nutrients help keep your eyes in good shape.
Antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin, found particularly in dark leafy vegetables, help promote eye health and may reduce the risk of developing certain eye diseases.
A senior optician from an eye and vision clinic says antioxidants reduce the risk of macular degeneration. It is an age-related condition that occurs when the macula, the focus of the retina, begins to deteriorate.As the disease progresses, you may develop central vision problems, such as: B. Difficulty seeing objects in front of you.
While there is still no definitive cure for macular degeneration, there are a few things you can do to slow its progression. For one, eat spinach, kale, and other dark green leafy vegetables regularly. They are high in lutein and zeaxanthin which help maintain the structural integrity of your eyes.
Antioxidants are essential for the human body, especially in the fight against free radicals, which are inherently very dangerous and harmful.
Antioxidants are not interchangeable. Each has a unique chemical behavior and biological properties. Everyone plays slightly different roles. This means that no single substance can do the job of the whole crowd.
The body produces free radicals in response to environmental stresses such as tobacco smoke, ultraviolet rays, and pollution of the air and the food you eat. Normal free radical production also occurs with excessive exercise.
Free radicals have been linked to the cause of diseases such as cancer, aging, and vision loss. An antioxidant can help reduce the risk of contracting these diseases, but should not be taken out of its natural context.
Avoiding harmful activities and eating healthy foods can help your body from the negative effects of oxidation
Antioxidants’ health benefits are continuously studied all around the world.