In a recent couple of years with an extensive exposure to health awareness, we have come to know that antioxidants are very essential for a good health. Some of us might also know the foods that are rich in antioxidants and try to religiously include those foods in our diet. But do you also know the many roles of antioxidants for a good health?
Let’s find out more!
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are those substances that prevent and slow down cellular damage caused by free radicals and unstable molecules that are produced by the body in reaction to the environment and other external pressures.
What are free radicals?
Free radicals are produced in the body in the form of unstable molecules that happens due to inflammation, sun exposure, environmental damage, stress, cigarette smoke, and the aging process. Free radicals are extensively damaging to the body harming the collagen, cells, and collagen.
When these free radicals cannot be removed from the body effectively, it results in oxidative stress. This can lead to serious and life-threatening health conditions like heart disease, arthritis, stroke, and cancer, respiratory tract diseases, weakened immune system, Parkinson’s disease, and other inflammatory health issues.
Symptoms of antioxidant deficiency
Are you getting enough antioxidants? Let’s see!
If you experience any of the following symptoms, chances are that you might not be getting the sufficient amount of antioxidants –
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Poor memory
- Changes in skin and hair texture
- Slow healing of a wound
However, if you are aged, have an addiction to smoking or have digestive issues, you are at a high risk of being antioxidant deficient.
Roles antioxidants play in the body
Studies show that if you consume an antioxidant-rich diet, your chances of living a longer life and having good health are increased. Here are a number of diseases that antioxidants protect your body from:
There have been a number of researches to prove the fact that having an abundance of seasonal fruits and veggies will reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Similarly dry fruits and nuts, wine and dark chocolate are all rich in antioxidants that take care of your heart and health but only if taken in limited amounts. An exceed in the recommended limit backfires with serious health issues.
Antioxidants like Vitamin C, E, copper, selenium, and zinc reduces the risk of heart diseases by as much as 50%.
Can lower cancer risk
Free radicals are proven to cause cancer and antioxidants prevent the damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants also fight inflammation and oxidative stress that lead to cancer. You may also support your cancer treatment with enough antioxidants. However, take a doctor’s advice in this case.
This is common and we all know that eating enough fruits and veggies enhances immunity and protects us from diseases and infections. Vitamin A, C, E, and carotenoids are some antioxidants that boost health and immunity. A strong immunity supports healthy aging and prevents illnesses like cold and bronchitis.
Did you know that antioxidants prevent macular degeneration and other vision-related issues? Clinical findings say that antioxidant supplements like Vitamin C and E control cataract progression in less than three years. The antioxidant Vitamin A also protects the retina and nourishes the nerves of the eyes preventing night blindness.
Food sources of antioxidants
- All fruits and veggies, nuts, whole grains, poultry, and fish are rich in antioxidants. You should have at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies daily.
- Green and black tea, wine and coffee have high levels of antioxidants in them, but it is advisable to have them in moderate amounts only.
You must take antioxidants in its natural form from food sources, having them in supplements are not as effective.
Talk to a doctor to recommend you the right amount for each antioxidant. An overdose can lead to toxicity and health disorders.