What are antioxidants and what they do?
You may have tried to know and eat foods that are good for your heart or your stomach. But have you ever thought of eating foods that would shield your cells? Those would be the foods packed with antioxidants, a term that you may have heard before or maybe you haven’t and ask what are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are those that are naturally found in foods produced from plants, such as fruits, vegetables, tea, coffee, chocolates, and wines. Though there are a relentless number of antioxidants present under the sun, the most commonly heard ones include flavonols present in chocolates, lycopene in tomatoes, resveratrol in wine, beta-carotene in carrots and catechins in green tea.
Antioxidants assist in the prevention of cell damage that is triggered by antioxidants. Diane McKay, assistant professor of the Antioxidants Research Laboratory at the Tufts University says that while oxidants are free radicals which are present in the environment, they are also naturally generated in the human body. Our body produces them to combat the microbes and viruses but when you are overloaded with them, they can lead to acute damage including cardiac diseases and certain cancers. What’s more, you may be attacked by oxidants from smoking and air pollution as well.
But the solution constitutes something quite obvious. You just got to overload yourself antioxidant foods in order to fight back the free radicals. Easy though it may sound, eating out all the antioxidants foods won’t really solve the dispute. You will need to achieve a harmony between the free radicals and antioxidants.
“What are antioxidants?”- this question got some hype back in the 90s as the scientific researches executed all across the world began to notice a connection between the abundance of free radicals and chronic health conditions including blood sugar, loss of vision and cancer. According to the creator of Healthy Simple Life, Cassie Bjork, the greatest misconception about antioxidants is that it is simply a buzzword. Whereas the truth is that there are many benefits of antioxidants, the most important being protecting your body from diseases and aging without causing any side effects.
But the verdict is that if you start taking too much of antioxidant vitamins or various types of antioxidants supplements, you actually harm your body’s innate ability to activate the natural antioxidants defense system. Thankfully enough, it is really hard to have too much of antioxidants from your daily diet which is the reason why experts always suggest to depend on the natural sources, preferably, coffee antioxidants, green tea antioxidants and antioxidant fruits.
Blueberries are often regarded as the best antioxidants though there are many viable sources. You would be happy to know that most plant based foods right from green tea to cocoa to raspberries to black pepper- are a good possessor of antioxidants. There is a deep connection between antioxidants and cancer as revealed by various researchers and you can keep this ailment at bay by consuming pumpkin, kiwis, red peppers and coffee to your heart’s content. While coffee is not really the richest source of antioxidants, it is definitely one of the most popular sources of antioxidants.
When it comes to foods like apples or grapes, don’t even think of peeling out the skin in order to make the most out of your diet. Herbs and spices can be the missing link between antioxidants and aging as they come in dried form which results in the concentration of antioxidants in these condiments. So the next time you sprinkle on some oregano to your asparagus soup, the goodness would really up.
When you are doubtful about what to eat to get the maximum amount of antioxidants, try to create a mélange of differently colored fruits and vegetables and rest assured that you are getting enough antioxidants to fend off all the ailments that would have otherwise taken a toll on your health.