Antioxidants

What benefits does the body get from antioxidants?

antioxidants1

The benefits of incorporating foods with antioxidant enzymes is endless for overall health and anti-aging on Long Island. Not only is it a more effective means to staving off the aging process but is a better alternative to artificial medicinal methods as these introduce toxins to the body.

The body synthesizes antioxidant enzymes to control free radical chain reactions. Your body requires a wide variety of antioxidants. Some are produced by the body while others are derived from food or supplements.  Glutathione, Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA), and CoQ10 (Ubiquinone) are antioxidants manufactured inside the body. The vast majority of antioxidants, however, cannot be produced inside the body.  and must come from antioxidant-rich foods or antioxidant supplements. The main ones include Resveratrol, which is found in some fruits and vegetables like grapes, cocoa and red wine; Carotenoids, a class of naturally-occurring pigments which have potent antioxidant properties; Vitamin C, hailed as the “grandfather” of traditional antioxidants; Vitamin A (retinol), which provides many skin benefits when used regularly; and Vitamin E, a family of 8 different compounds: four tocotrienols and four tocopherols. Other important antioxidants include Flavonoids, Astaxanthin, and Spirulina.

The most effective way to obtain more antioxidants is from your diet. This has been confirmed by numerous scientific studies. So, enjoy eating different fruits and vegetables daily. However, it is important to follow a healthy lifestyle as well. This is because an antioxidant-rich diet cannot help you if you have a unhealthy lifestyle that promotes the formation of free radicals. A healthy lifestyle requires proper exercise, enough sleep, avoiding stress, stopping smoking, and avoiding unhealthy foods and drinks. Other factors that increase free radical production in your body include aging, infection, air pollution, and exposure to radiation or toxic substances.

Living in the fast paced suburbs of Nassau and Suffolk counties right outside New York City can take a toll on your body. Not only is there higher levels of  pollution from fuel emissions but the fast paced demands of day to day life can put a major strain on your overall health.

Practicing stress reduction techniques such as meditation and yoga can help combat the side effects of stress. In conjunction with a healthy diet, you will reduce the effects of the unavoidable aspects of daily life as well as prevent premature aging.

What are the Importance of antioxidants benefits in the body?

Antioxidants fight free radicals and oxidative stress. Oxidative stress results from oxidation, which occurs when different molecules in the body lose electrons to charged oxygen molecules in the blood stream. The electrically charged oxygen molecules, known as “free radicals,” can damage cellular DNA. With time, the damage to DNA becomes irreversible, leading to diseases and other problems such as premature aging.

Oxidation is a natural process and occurs in all of us. Since it is natural, everyone has free radicals in their bloodstream. It is therefore necessary to obtain antioxidants from diet and supplements to keep the levels of free radicals in the body low and to maintain good health. Otherwise, a buildup of free radicals in your body increases oxidative stress, exposing you to myriad health problems.

Antioxidants benefit the body because of their ability to fight free radicals and oxidative stress. Research continues to bring to the forefront, different benefits of antioxidants. Here are some of the major antioxidant benefits:

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

The antioxidants in your morning tea or coffee may help prevent cardiovascular diseases, according to the Family Health Guide of Harvard Medical School. A study in the October 2012 publication of the International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology reported that polyphenol antioxidants found in tea and coffee prevent the oxidation of fats, a process which promotes massive inflammation and may increase risk of diabetes and heart disease. Researchers at Oklahoma State University published a study in the September 2010 issue of the Journal of Nutrition which suggests that blueberries decrease cardiovascular risk factors in obese men and women with metabolic syndrome. A study published in Clinical Nutrition by researchers from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands reports the anti-inflammatory benefits of the antioxidant quercetin, found in many leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits.

Prevent neurologic disorders

Studies have shown that some antioxidant foods, when combined, can protect the nervous system by inhibiting enzymes involved in neurologic disorders such as depression, autism and schizophrenia. Researchers have reported that polyphenols can protect neuronal cells both in vivo and in vitro via different intracellular targets. For example, scientists from the Department of Pharmacology and the Rappaport Family Research Institute in Israel and the USA National Parkinson Foundation Centers of Excellence for Neurodegenerative Diseases have found that the green tea’s catechin polyphenols, often considered simple radical scavengers, can also promote different cellular mechanisms of action associated with neuroprotective activities. These include scavenging radicals, iron chelation, activating cell signaling pathways and survival genes, and regulation of mitochondrial function. Moreover, a 2004 study published in the Journal Archives of Neurology found a lowered risk of Alzheimer’s Disease in individuals who used antioxidant vitamin supplements.

Immune benefits

Antioxidants, such as polyphenols, vitamins A, C, and E and some minerals (for example, selenium), boost the immune system by neutralizing harmful free radicals. Spirulina and Astaxanthin have been shown to improve both the specific and the non-specific immune system and to protect cellular DNA and cell membranes from mutation. By quenching these harmful molecules, antioxidants can help prevent certain types of cancer and bolster the immune system. Antioxidants therefore increase your natural defenses against infections. Marcia Costello, PhD, RD, LD, a professor at Villanova University College of Nursing says that science continues to prove antioxidants’ benefits in disease prevention. She says there is research to support the role of antioxidants in cancer prevention. In the October 2010 issue of Nutrition and Cancer, scientists from Baylor University in Texas reported the benefits of curcumin, particularly the anticancer benefits.

Antioxidants and Anti-aging effects

Antioxidants can help delay the aging process and even reverse memory loss. Research is abundant on the relationship between antioxidants and aging. Scientists at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center in Ohio published in the April 2010 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry a study that related anthocyanins in blueberries to reversing memory loss in the elderly. The antioxidants in fruits and vegetables such as deep red tomatoes, blueberries, carrots and leafy greens as well asOmega-3 fatty acids from fish provide numerous anti-aging benefits. Antioxidants combat free radicals that are responsible for the hidden and visible signs of aging and enhance the effectiveness of various sunscreens to thwart sun damage.

Antioxidants have been shown to prevent different degenerative diseases including:

  • Cancer
  • Cataracts
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Immune Dysfunction
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Macular Degeneration

Other important antioxidants benefits include:

  • Repair of damaged molecules – Some antioxidants repair damaged molecules by donating hydrogen atoms. This is vital if the molecule in question is a critical one such as DNA.
  • Block metal radical production – Certain antioxidants grab toxic metals such as arsenic and mercury that can lead to formation of free radicals. They hold onto them strongly to prevent their damaging reactions from taking place. They therefore act as chelating agents. Through this process, some toxic metals are eliminated from the body.
  • Provide a “shield effect” – Antioxidants, like flavonoids, act as a shield by attaching to the DNA of your body, protecting it from attack by free radicals.

Skin Health Benefits

Antioxidants protect the skin from the effect of free radicals, namely damage to cellular lipids, proteins, and DNA. Skin damage leads to premature aging of the skin, erythema (sunburn), skin cancers and photodermatoses. Dr. Lester Packer, a famous antioxidant researcher at the Packer Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley, confirms that their studies continue to prove antioxidants’ numerous benefits to the skin.

Conclusion

Antioxidants are important molecules to our bodies. The body can make some  antioxidants while others must be obtained from diet or from potent supplements. There is a growing body of scientific evidence on the benefits of antioxidants. It is important to ensure you have enough antioxidants in your body to prevent diseases, boost the immune system, and fight age-related complications among a host of other benefits. It is also  important to lead a healthy lifestyle in order to benefit from antioxidants. Living in the Long Island Area has many perks but increased stress isn’t one of them. Building daily habits that will combat stress in conjunction to a healthy diet rich in antioxidants will keep you healthy in the long term.


Chickpeas

chickpeas antioxidant benefits

Chickpeas are very rich in both soluble and insoluble dietary fibers. Soluble fibers capture bile in the digestive tract, which contain cholesterol…

Green Peas

Green Peas antioxidant benefits

Green peas are an excellent source of folic acid. Folic acid is a b-vitamin complex that is required for DNA synthesis (Green peas nutrition facts)…

Cocoa

Cocoa antioxidant benefits

Cocoa is loaded with antioxidants which help to prevent inflammation from free radical damage that naturally occurs in the body…

Green Tea

Green Tea antioxidant benefits

Green tea (Camellia sinesiss) is one of the oldest beverages in the world. Originating from different parts of Asia, it has now spread across many parts…

Hibiscus Tea

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Hibiscus is a flower that grows primarily in tropical regions. There are many uses for this plant. It can be used for flavoring in soups, sauces, and jams or…

Acai Berry

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Acai Berry contains antioxidants which protect the body from the damaging effects of chemical reactions that occur naturally in the body…

Banana

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Bananas are especially rich in potassium, which is one of the most important electrolytes in the body. In the average…

Pear

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Pears are high in fiber. In a medium-sized pear, there are about six grams of fiber (20%-24% of daily requirement). A diet high in fiber can prevent…

Pomegranate

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Pomegranate seeds are rich in phytochemials, specifically polyphenols, which are instrumental in disease prevention…

Kiwi Fruit

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The high levels of Vitamins C, E and A also protect against free radicals in the body. Free radicals lead to inflammation…

Cranberry

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Cranberries are very rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants play a vital role in keeping the body protected from dangerous molecules called …

Coconut Flour

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Coconut flour is a new and healthy alternative to the usual flours used in everyday products. The process of making coconut flour…

Bilberry

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Bilberry Fruit is rich in Anthocyanosides. Anthocyanosides have antioxidant activity, and can improve circulation and help…

Apple Fiber

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Within the last 20 years many studies have been conducted regarding the health benefits of apples. Many do not realize the health benefits …

Allspice

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Allspice is produced from the fruit of the Pimenta dioica plant and originates primarily from Jamaica, the West Indies and South America…

Red Yeast Rice

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Red Yeast Rice lowers Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels in the blood. In a study conducted at UCLA, 83 Individuals with High Cholesterol were…

Cornsilk

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The most common medicinal use of cornsilk is for the treatment of urinary tract infections. Cornsilk is a very promising…

Cilantro

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All over the world the effects of cilantro are known; in parts of Europe cilantro is known as the anit-diabetic plant…

Reishi Mushroom

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There are over 200 types of mushrooms that have medicinal benefits. A common mushroom is the reishi mushroom, also known as…

Celery

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One of the many benefits of celery is that is can help to lower blood pressure. Celery contains the natural compound phthalides…

Cinnamon

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It is believed that cinnamon helps to control rises in blood sugar levels after meals because it slows the rate at which…

Cabbage

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One of the many benefits of cabbage is that it reduces breast engorgement and pain in postnatal mothers immediately following the…

Black Pepper

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It not only adds flavor to a variety of foods but it also aids in digestion due to the active compound piperine…

Aloe

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However, recent research has found a variety of additional uses for the aloe gel, one of which is acting as a laxative. Aloe acts…

Spinach

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There are a plethora of benefits gained by eating spinach. Just one cup of spinach has almost 20% of the RDA of dietary fiber…

Eggplant

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The phytonutrient, nasunin, found in the eggplant skin, has been shown to be a potent antioxidant. It gets rid of free…

Broccoli

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Broccoli contains glucoraphanin, which the body creates into the anti-cancer compound sulforaphane. Sulforaphane helps…

Pumpkin

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Sweet Potatoes

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Sweet potatoes provide a sizable amount Vitamin A, Vitamin C and beta-carotene which makes them a good antioxidant food…

Coffee

That morning cup o’ jo might be healthier than you think it is! The American Chemical Society has identified coffee…

 

Blueberries

 

Blueberries are perhaps the best-known antioxidant fruit out there. Containing the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit….

Carrots

 

carrots

Carrots are packed full of a variety of vitamins and minerals that improve overall health throughout the body. Carrots act as effective antioxidents because of their high beta-carotene content….

Watermelon

d0e5Watermelon2

Despite being about 92% water, watermelons are packed full of helpful nutrients. These include calcium, iron, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, thiamin, magnesium ….

 

Goji Berries

 

Goji berries, also known as wolf-berries, originated in China. This bright orange-red berry is thought to be ….

Pistachios

 

Pistachios are nuts that are one of the lowest in both calories and fats. For one serving….

Mangos

 

Mangos are a type of fruit rich in antioxidants that belong to the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae…

Apricots

 

The apricot is very rich in antioxidants and so it provides multiple different health benefits…

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