Well, antioxidants are everywhere. You can find them in chocolates, superfoods, skincare products, wine (red wine), and more. It has been seen that all most all the products which have antioxidants are promoted as foods that are good for our health. There are some researches that say that with a sufficient level of antioxidants, the body can naturally reduce inflammation. But there is still a big question about how it can help our overall health. Can it really help our body to fight various diseases, or can it help in reversing ageing?
Some experts suggest that if you are consuming a healthy diet, then you don’t need to have antioxidant supplements. In fact, sometimes, it can lead to different health issues. If beta carotene level increases in the body, it can cause cancer when you smoke.
So, all these facts have made this little confusing to know is antioxidant good or bad? Well, here is some pieces of useful information that can help you to clear your doubts. Have a look at them.
What Do You Mean By Antioxidants?
In general, antioxidants cover different types of molecules that keep safe other different molecules from a normal and regular occurring chemical process, i.e., Oxidation. The chemical process, generally triggered by alcohol, cigarette, and stress. It can greatly damage the crucial molecules located in the body’s cells, along with proteins and DNA. They all are important to carry out various processes in our bodies.
When the natural oxidation process is disrupted, the disruption creates Free Radicals, which are damaging molecules. This is where antioxidants come to play. They prevent or can lower the damage level caused by Free Radicals in our body.
About Free Radicals
They can be atoms that may consist of electrons. They generally formed when certain types of molecules come into contact with oxygen. Once they are developed, they start a chain of chemical reactions that can damage our bodies. The electrons can get unstable sometimes and get stability, Free Radicals obtain electrons from other molecules. When the molecules lose the electrons, those particular molecules get oxidized and turn into Free Radicals. Free Radicals can react with the cell membrane or DNA, making them functioning poorly and sometimes Free Radicals can kill them
It may be noted that Free Radicals are not just produced by the body; they are also present in the foods and air. Sometimes they can come from sunlight.
Some experts say these are not always negative for our bodies. How? The immune system can utilize its destructive and reactive nature. Besides, certain types of white blood cells, named phagocytes, can retain foreign particles, and then to destroy them, the blood cells release Free Radicals.
Antioxidants- Keep Our Body Cells Safe From Free Radicals
Antioxidants are commonly found in pulses, tea, fruits, supplements, vegetables, and coffee. They are crucial for our health as they can reduce the chances of damage from Free Radicals. Such radicals bind to our cells in such a method that they can damage the DNA and protein.
Well, it can be prevented with the help of antioxidants. So, it is important to maintain a good level of antioxidants in the body to deal with Free Radicals damages, like damages to fatty tissue, DNA, proteins, and cell membranes. This can also develop oxidative stress, that can lead to a number of diseases, for example:
- Cardiovascular diseases, and more.
Don’t think that antioxidants can reduce the chances of oxidative stress, and you can prevent the risk of getting such disease by consuming antioxidants. Tim Spector, an Genetic Epidemiology professor, said that there is no such answer that can prove whether antioxidants can lead to good heart health or lower the risk of cancer. Besides, the products which are marketed as good for health are not backed by any kind of research. But it is good to maintain a good diet plan that covers whole foods to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
Foods That Are Rich In Antioxidants
The best thing is our body has the ability to produce antioxidants naturally. Our body forms antioxidants but in the form of alpha-lipoic and glutathione acid. However, you can support your body by consuming foods that contain antioxidants. They include minerals such as manganese and selenium, and Vitamins, such as beta carotene, Vitamin A, C, and E. All such things are present there in different foods.
In the year 2010, a comprehensive study was published in Nutrition Journal stated that around 3100+ spices, supplements, beverages, and foods contain antioxidants. Some good sources of antioxidants are:
- Red wine and tea- Catechins
- Red capsicum, mangoes, and pumpkin- Cryptoxanthin
- Leeks, garlic, and onions- Allium Sulphur Compounds
- Seafood, nuts, milk, and lean meat- Copper, Manganese, Zinc
- Oregano and thyme- Polyphenols
- Whole grains, peanuts, nuts, avocados, seeds, and vegetable oils- Vitamin E
- Egg yolks, milk, carrots, liver, and sweet potatoes- Vitamin A
- Spinach, broccoli, mangoes, kiwifruit, oranges, and blackcurrants- Vitamin C
Antioxidants supplements- Goods or bad?
Some people have seen taking antioxidant supplements, but there are not many pieces of evidence that can prove whether taking such supplements is good or bad.
A study published in Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2010 stated that such supplements didn’t reduce cardiovascular risk. Another study proved that supplements couldn’t offer the same level of protection that one can get from a healthy antioxidant-rich diet.
So, don’t completely depend on supplements and focus on your diet plan. Besides, try to follow healthy lifestyle ways and stay away from cigarettes.