Detailed Guide to Antioxidants: Why they’re Beneficial and the Best Sources
To understand the importance of antioxidants and its many benefits it is important that we understand what antioxidants are and what they do?
These are natural chemicals the present in the biological system that minimizes and neutralizes the effects of free radicals. This furthers stops a chain reaction that causes oxidative stress in our body system. Many of these antioxidants are obtained by us through the food that we eat and some of these nutrients are vitamin A, C, and E. In a simple term an antioxidant is a molecule which is responsible to prevent the oxidation of other molecules in any biological system.
Now, you must be curious to know, what is oxidation?
Dietician Sheela Seharawat says that oxidation is a broader term that involves a wide range of chemical reactions in the body and certain changes alike burning of food for fuel in our body or even a metal getting rusted outside. In our body it encompasses both necessary activities like said earlier – burning of food for fuel, metabolism etc. and as well things like oxidative stress – a destructive process in which the free radicals are involved in a chain reaction that causes damages to the inside of the cells.
So, how do antioxidants work?
The main work primarily of antioxidants are to remove the free radicals, thereby ending the destructive chain that causes damages to the cell. The antioxidants do so by involving in a reaction with these free radicals, thereby uses them up and thus eliminates them.
This is a remarkable capability of an antioxidant to protect us from various threats. An oxidative stress has been associated with numerous diseases causing factors in our body and an antioxidant protects the body from all these threats.
Is antioxidant an answer to all health problems?
Do, you actually know that the most common causes of death across the globe is not violence or drunk driving or AIDS or drugs or anything. The actual causes are:
Chronic ailment of the respiratory system
The process of oxidation creates free radicals inside our body and these are highly unstable and reactive in nature. They are so dangerous that these radicals attacks good molecules and converts them into free radicals also. Hence, a chain reaction is started causing a range of cell damages.
This results an all-out assault on the entire body by these free radicals including our DNA. It results in weakened immunity, speeded by ageing and many other diseases including Alzheimer’s, cancers, diabetes, arthritis, heart ailments, eye diseases, liver problems and what not?
How do we get these antioxidants as per Diet Plan East Delhi?
Numerous plant based foods, like vegetables, fruits, tea, many herbs and spices have many polyphenol that works as antioxidants. A numerous of this antioxidants are just pigments like anthocyanin and lycopene that provides colour to fruits like raspberries and blueberries and even oranges its orange texture. Tea, especially green tea has catechins and theaflavins in black tea. These antioxidants enter our body while consuming them and conveys their effects on our health.
It is also true that not all antioxidants are natural like the BHT and BHA. These are synthetic additives of food that are used as preservatives and functions as antioxidants.
There is also a perception that we all have that antioxidants are good and preservatives are bad. While antioxidants are preservatives themselves, it can naturally preserve food like herbs and spices. It can prevent the spoilage of foods.
Some good antioxidant food sources:
Fruits: Apple, Berries, Grapes, Apricot, Avocado, Orange, Lemon, Plum, Pineapple, Prune, Pomegranate, Kiwi and Grapefruit.
Seeds and Nuts: Sunflower seed, Walnut, Peanut, Cocoa, Hazelnut, Pecan.
Spices: Turmeric, Oregano, Cloves, Cinnamon.
Legumes: Kidney Bean, Pinto Bean, Black Bean.
Vegetables: Brussel Sprouts, Artichoke, Broccoli, Ginger, Kale, Garlic, Peppers, Pumpkins, Red Cabbage, Spinach, Tomato.