The significant health benefits and reduction of diseases with use of Antioxidants
Every person desires to lead a healthy and happy lifestyle. But the most essential factor includes a nutritional and nourishing diet which includes all important minerals, vitamins, fibers and antioxidants which not all provide with necessary energy but help to strengthen the immune system. A diet rich in proteins, carbohydrates, fats and nutrients such as minerals, vitamins and antioxidants helps a person to remain healthy, improve the functioning of the internal organs along with bones, muscles and reduce the chances of getting sick to numerous diseases. Consuming natural food is always healthy firstly because they contain all the nutrients and secondly they have no harmful side effect. Antioxidants are either natural substances or manmade supplements that prevent cell damage.
Importance of Antioxidants:
An oxidant is a molecule that prevents the oxidation process of other molecules. The oxidation of molecules results in free radicals which may further result in chain reactions which damages the cell. Studies have discussed that the damage caused by free radicals is one major reason for the growth of cancer cells and other chronic illnesses. There are two types of food, firstly the natural food like fruits and vegetables which contain antioxidants, and secondly some manmade chemically processed substances that can stop cell damage.
What causes free radicals?
The cells in the human body are constantly working in either providing nutrients or oxygen to all parts of the body or countering the infections and illnesses that develop in a human. Free radicals are unbalanced molecules that may result due to variety of reasons. The reason may be either some natural physiological condition like breakdown of food, when a person consume certain pain relieving medicines, or when a person is exposed to a chemically polluted environment or smokes cigarettes.
The role of Antioxidants:
The human body naturally produces antioxidants to counter the free radicals but sometimes the free radicals outnumber the antioxidants present in the body. A person needs to eat fresh fruits and vegetables to prevent cell damage because if left unaddressed the cell damage can lead to many chronic diseases which include certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis.
Food and substances that contain Antioxidants:
The examples of antioxidants include numerous type of vitamins and carotenoids. Vitamin C, E are famous vitamins whereas beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene are common carotenoids. Antioxidants are widely found in naturally occurring food items such as fruits and vegetables which are not only rich in antioxidants but contain other healthy nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates and minerals. The list of fruit includes blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, and example of vegetables are Russet potato, artichokes and beans. There are also many dietary supplements which contain antioxidants but a person eating medicines may consult with proper physician before consuming supplements as some medicines may interact with supplements and cause discomfort.
Benefits of Antioxidants:
There are such a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that each are unique in taste and provide with numerous health benefits. Below are some of the example of antioxidants and their benefits:
- Vitamin A: Found naturally in fruits and vegetables, this vitamin help in improving eyesight, improve cell function and growth of bones
- Vitamin C: Famously known as ascorbic acid, this vitamin is richly found in citrus fruits. This vitamin helps in absorption of iron and most importantly to prevent cell damage and infections to develop
- Vitamin E: This vitamin is mostly found in vegetable oils, nuts, salad dressings and butter. Vitamin E helps in strengthening the immune system and improving metabolic functions
- Beta-Carotene: This carotenoid is found in fruits such as mangoes, apricots, and cantaloupe and in vegetables such as spinach, carrots, potatoes and peas. The human body converts the beta-carotene into vitamin A which improves vision and immune system
- Selenium: It is a mineral with antioxidants properties and it reduces the risk of prostate cancers and thyroid diseases.