Antioxidants are naturally occurring compounds that have the ability to neutralize free radicals, which are reactive molecules that can cause damage to our cells. Free radicals are the by-products of cellular metabolism. External factors such as poor dietary choices, pollution, and radiation can also lead to an excessive buildup of free radicals. These molecules can start a chain reaction of cellular damage and accelerate the aging process.
Antioxidants are found in various fruits, vegetables, plant-based foods, certain animal products, and synthetic supplements. Their function of neutralizing free radicals, help to reduce oxidative stress and support the body’s defense system.
TYPES OF ANTIOXIDANTS:
There are several types of antioxidants, some of the most common antioxidants include:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
SOURCES OF ANTIOXIDANTS:
- Fruits: such as citrus fruits, berries, cherries, apples, grapes, pomegranates, and kiwi.
- Vegetables: such as spinach, broccoli, kale, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and beets.
- Nuts and Seeds: such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds.
- Whole Grains: such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, barley, buckwheat.
- Herbs and Spices: such as turmeric, cloves, thyme, oregano, rosemary, and cinnamon.
- Legumes: such as black beans, lentils, and chickpeas.
- Fish and Seafood: such as salmon and trout.
- Dark Chocolate
- Olive Oil
HEALTH BENEFITS OF ANTIOXIDANTS:
- Cellular Protection: antioxidants protect from cellular damage, reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders.
- Boosting Immune Function: antioxidants strengthen the immune system, helping the body fight off infections more effectively.
- Skin Health: vitamin C and E promote healthy skin by combating oxidative stress and supporting collagen production.
- Reducing Inflammation: some antioxidants possess anti-inflammatory properties, helping to reduce inflammation and supporting joint health.
By protecting your cells from oxidative damage, antioxidants offer a natural defense against various diseases and promote longevity. A balanced diet that includes a wide range of antioxidant-rich foods is an effective way to enhance your overall health and well-being.