Antioxidants – what are they? Where to get antioxidants? What are foods that contain antioxidants? These are questions many people ask. Chances are high that you have heard the word “antioxidants” as there has been a lot of confusing buzz about the benefits of antioxidants.
In this post, we explain in a simple way what antioxidants are, and why you should include them in your diet.
What are antioxidants?
The term “antioxidants” is used for a variety of natural or man-made substances that fight free radicals in our body. Free radicals are constantly generated in our body during food processing and energy production, or when we are exposed to certain environmental factors such as smoking, air pollution, and sunlight.
Why are antioxidants important?
High amounts of free radicals cause a condition called “oxidative stress” in our body that damages our cells. Oxidative stress plays a critical role in the development and progression of many diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Therefore, our body needs a constant defending mechanism to fight free radicals and oxidative stress; the antioxidants. There are thousands of substances with antioxidant activity, but the most commonly found in fruits and vegetables in their natural form are vitamins C and E, selenium, manganese, beta-carotene, flavonoids, coenzyme Q10, and anthocyanins.
How can you get antioxidants?
As mentioned, antioxidants can be natural or man-made. The best way to get them is by consuming fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants. Research studies evaluated the benefits of individual antioxidants when given in the form of pills without any conclusive findings when it comes to disease regression or prevention. On the other hand, several studies found that regular consumption of whole foods high in different antioxidants provide some health benefits, including protection against aging, cardiovascular risk, and vision loss.
Examples of fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants are wild blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, goji berries, matcha green tea, walnuts, pecans, beans, broccoli, cilantro, red cabbage, and dark chocolate.
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Hope you enjoyed this blog post about antioxidants. Check out also our blog post also about Does it matter what food has the highest amount of antioxidants? If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us on our social media channels:
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