Role of Antioxidants in Our Body: Benefits, Health Effects, And Sources
Antioxidants are the harmless substances in our body that avoid or slow down damage due to harmful molecules, free radicals, and other elements. Oxidation process in the body can damage the proteins, DNA, and cells – while antioxidants fight against oxidation.
As this article talks about the side effects, health benefits, and sources of the antioxidants, let’s get straight to the point.
Benefits of Antioxidants
As discussed earlier, antioxidants prevent cell damage due to free radicals, this process is also called oxidative stress. It is recommended to avoid the following activities as they can lead to severe oxidative stress:
- Tissue trauma caused due to injury or inflammation
- Reperfusion damage
- Excessive exercise
- Exposure to harmful chemicals
- Environmental pollution and more.
All damage due to oxidative stress can further lead to the accumulation of cancerous cells in the body. This is where antioxidants can come in handy. Antioxidants act as a hydrogen donor, enzyme inhibitor, radical searcher, electron donor etc. According to research, it was found that optimized intake of antioxidants may help enhance vision in older people.
Types of Antioxidants
If free radicals are dangerous for our body and cause oxidative stress, then antioxidants can neutralize them and prevent oxidation. If so, taking more antioxidants should be good for health, right? Well, this is not the case at all. No doubt high antioxidants in our body reduce oxidative stress, but all antioxidants are not equal. Make sure to consult with a doctor before taking them.
Overall, the word “Antioxidants” describes the range of products containing these substances. Some examples of healthy antioxidants are as follows:
- Vitamin A, C, E
- Manganese etc.
Polyphenols, catechins, flavones, flavonoids, and phytoestrogens are all types of antioxidants.
Sources of Antioxidants
Antioxidants can be found artificially and naturally. However, plants and vegetables are the best sources of antioxidants. Looking forward to some antioxidants to include in your diet? Well, here are some food sources of antioxidants:
- Dairy products
- Nuts and seeds
- Red and pink fruits
- Wheat, rice, corn, and other healthy grains
- Dark chocolate
- Red grapes
Make sure to include a vegetable or fruit in your meal to increase your antioxidant intake. Having a cup of green tea after the meal is appreciated. Overall, select the food with rich colors like berries, beets, and kale. This is because beige or brown colored food items are most likely to contain low antioxidants.