Antioxidants are found in fruits, vegetables, and tea, and they help your body fight free radicals and protect you from a number of diseases.
Our bodies work all the time converting food into energy, and from these natural processes and the chemical reactions involved, free radicals are generated. According to Harvard University, free radicals can also be generated in the food a person eats, the air they breathe, and by the sunlight’s action on the skin and eyes.
Free radicals are simply cells that are damaged during all these natural and other processes in the body. Once these cells become damaged, they hunt for healthy cells and try to injure them by attacking their DNA.
After this kind of attacks, the injured cell can cause a basis for disease, as commonly seen in cigarette smoking, which produces lots of free radicals.
Fortunately, the body has a free radical defense system that involves the help of antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that act as defenders with certain chemical behaviors and properties. They deal with huge radical attacks but sometimes the body cannot stop and that is when we develop diseases.
Free radicals are always active, and it is estimated that the DNA in every cell in the human body suffers about 10,000 “hits” from free radicals each day.
The Benefits Of Eating More Antioxidants
Protect Your Heart
It is still inconclusive that antioxidant supplements prevent heart disease, but there’s no doubt that your diet must include frequent doses of antioxidants to keep the bad LDL cholesterol, from turning even worse.
Cholesterol that’s been attacked by free radicals is more likely to burrow into artery walls, and the result is that your immune system senses trouble and responds by sending white blood cells to the location.
These white blood defender cells devour cholesterol, turning into frothy blobs called foam cells, which, on accumulation, form raised patches called plaques, which narrow arteries. These Plaques can erupt, blocking the artery and causing a heart attack.
Protect Your DNA
Free radicals can damage the DNA in healthy cells and may alter their operating instructions, causing them to reproduce uncontrollably and form cancerous tumors.
People who eat lots of fruits and vegetables (antioxidants) have a low risk for some types of cancer, as laboratory studies show that phytochemicals stifle the growth of tumors in various ways, including by scavenging and demobilizing free radicals.
Control Diabetes Complications
High blood sugar seems to speed up production of some unusually nasty free radicals, which probably cause many of the complications such as blindness, nerve damage, and kidney failure that make diabetes so frightening.
Antioxidants could alleviate some diabetes symptoms, and studies have shown that dietary supplements containing alpha-lipoic acid, found in spinach, broccoli, and beef, may relieve the pain and discomfort of diabetic neuropathy.
Defend Against Dementia
Brain cells of people suffering from devastating cognitive conditions show evidence of damage by free radicals. Furthermore, free radicals seem to be one cause of the clumps of proteins in the brain (amyloids), which are the characteristic feature of Alzheimer’s disease.
It is believed that eating more oranges and whole-grain bread could be a good start against Alzheimer’s, and human studies offer clues that vitamins C and E may be the brain’s best defense.
Researchers have found that people who consumed the most vitamin C reduced their risk of Alzheimer’s by 34%, while diets rich in vitamin E appeared to be even more protective, reducing the threat of dementia by nearly 50%.
Protect Your Sight
Carrots contain antioxidants and are indeed good for your eye health. Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, an essential nutrient for good and healthy eyes.
Most Important Antioxidants
This is one of the best-known antioxidants that protect the body from different types of infection and damage to cells. It is also known to aid in collagen production and helps with the absorption of folate and iron.
Offers great protection to the body against cell damage and assists vitamin C with protection.
These are good antioxidants and there is a variety of them but the most well known are beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene.
Antioxidant Foods With Power
There are different kinds of foods that we can add to our eating plans so that we can benefit from the power their antioxidants can confer to our health.
Berries are jewels and are packed with antioxidants. Inside this group, we can find the best ones to be blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
Grapes not only have antioxidants but also phytonutrients that can include the carotenoids, the famous resveratrol, and even melatonin. The better the grapes are the purple, red, and blue grapes. Most citrus fruits including but not limited to lemon, lime, and grapefruits
The most powerful legumes that are packed with antioxidants are lentils, edamame, and kidney beans.
Some vegetables like Kale and spinach, artichokes, okra, Brussels sprouts, and bell pepper offer almost the same antioxidant power as berries. We can also include tomatoes and their high content of carotenoids and sweet potatoes, which are also low in sodium, fat, and very low in calories in this category.
First on this list is walnut and then we can mention pistachios, pecans, almonds, and hazelnuts. According to experts, walnuts have twice as much antioxidant power as any other known nut, and nuts also contain proteins, minerals, and fiber.
Antioxidants and Tea (green and black tea):
While foods can confer antioxidant power, the body usually does not absorb all of it because of the concept of bioavailability or the absorption of them by the body which depends on certain internal and external factors.
Tea, whether black or green, caffeinated or decaffeinated has spectacular antioxidant capabilities as a result of its large amounts of substances called flavonoids. Flavonoids may have an anticlotting effect, in addition to preventing oxidation of cells.
One study found that among people who’d suffered heart attacks, those who drank 14 or more cups of tea a week were 44% less likely to die in the coming years following their heart attacks than those who didn’t drink any tea.
People who drink about 2 cups of tea daily had roughly half the risk of heart attack when compared to those who didn’t drink tea. A cup of black tea has less than half the caffeine of coffee, and green tea has even less.
A study tested the antioxidant punch of 15 brewed, bottled, and instant teas. They found most teas brewed from tea bags scored highest in antioxidant content and appears to have more antioxidant activity than almost any whole fruit or vegetable.
Iced teas from mixes and bottle are a decent choice too, as they contain a good deal of antioxidants.
Continuously dunking the tea bag as the tea steeps seems to release far more antioxidant compounds than simply dropping it in and leaving it there, and the addition of lemon to plain tea increased its antioxidant benefits. Lemon itself contains antioxidants.