Introduction And Background
There are many chemical reactions going on in the body, some that could be harmful for us and some that we need direly to work and function normally and to avoid any harm or danger. Antioxidants are actually what helps us to fight off the free radicals from the body and it to keep it safe and prevent cell death from happening. To get into the term oxidation and reduction would become really scientific and complicated for those of you who have not studied sciences so letâ€™s keep it simple. Oxidation in the body produces free radicals that react and cause adverse reactions in the body. Antioxidants help your body to avoid exact such reactions and prevent the free radicals from causing any such damage to the body. That is basically the gist of antioxidants.
The Uses Of Antioxidants
There are so many uses of antioxidants that just reading about them will make you want to switch to foods that contain a lot of them. Here are some of the uses of antioxidants in the body, aside from fighting off free radicals.
â€¢ Probably the most famous use of antioxidants is anti-ageing properties. As it is known to prevent cell death, it prolongs the longevity of cell life and indirectly prolongs the ageing factor of the cell. This does not mean it gives immortality or keeps you looking twenty while youâ€™re seventy but it definitely delays the ageing process and might have you passing as in your forties even in your sixties!
â€¢ Antioxidants are also known to have anti-inflammatory effects and that can really be good for the heart. Those who are facing heart problems or are at the risk of facing them should definitely think of turning to antioxidants to make things better for themselves. If the oxidation of fats can be lowered, it would fare well for those who have cholesterol problems as well as those people who face diabetic problems.
â€¢ There are many neurological disorders that are there due to enzymes in the body that are either being produced excessively or enzymes that are not doing their jobs accurately. Antioxidants are very good at stopping the excessive production of the enzymes or the working of enzymes that can cause such disorders in the first place. In other words, they protect the brain from early deterioration and try to stop neurological defects from happening.
â€¢ Immunity is a very important factor and one that everyone needs, especially in old people. It is essential that you try to boost your immunity in any way possible, even if that includes antioxidants.
â€¢ With the research in cancer reaching new heights, it is now an established fact that antioxidants can battle the growth of cancer as well as prevent it from happening firstly. It is best to include such items in your diet for long term so that the risk of cancer decreases, especially with the ongoing prevalence of the disease in the world.
The Sources Of Antioxidants
Hopefully, now youâ€™re well aware of the uses of antioxidants. Now youâ€™ll get to know about the sources of antioxidants and what foods are high in them and ones you should definitely have in your kitchen and keep a lookout for while doing groceries.
â€¢ The berries are definitely on the top of the list. There are goji berries are an excellent example and wild blueberries are a close second. Berries in general are full of antioxidants so you can even turn to strawberries and cranberries if youâ€™re not fond of the blueberries or the goji berries.
â€¢ For the chocolate lovers, theyâ€™ll be happy to hear that dark chocolate also contains antioxidants. Dark chocolates are generally good for the body as well as it contains many phytochemicals.
â€¢ Kidney beans are also high up on the list and are one of the best sources of antioxidants. Cook them regularly and help your children and yourself develop a taste for them.
â€¢ There are also herbs and spices which contain antioxidants, not just fruits and vegetables. Cinnamon and turmeric are the perfect example. Oregano and cocoa are also in the group. Ginger, parsley and even basil boasts of having antioxidants in them. Thyme, usually used in homemade pizzas, is also on the list!
While antioxidants are not given the same importance as the macronutrients or the vitamins and minerals, they should be taken into consideration sometimes. It is important for the body and while it may not be as vital and wonâ€™t produce any extensive damage if not present, it can save you and reduce the risk of a lot of things if present. Hence, try to keep in mind what foods are high in antioxidants and try having them once in a while to improve health and reduce the risk of diseases.