The concept of antioxidants has become very popular in recent years. People are beginning to focus on how to scientifically administer antioxidants in all aspects of their lives. Among them, antioxidant foods are the most popular part. Even nutraceutical companies have come up with a number of antioxidant products.
So, what are antioxidants? And why are they so important? And how can you scientifically follow an antioxidant diet? In this article today, we will take you through the process of figuring out the truth of these rumours.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules (usually found only in living organisms) that slow or prevent oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction in which electrons are transferred from a substance to an oxidising agent, creating free radicals which start a chain reaction. When a chain reaction occurs within a cell, the cell becomes damaged or apoptotic and they increase the body's risk of getting inflammation and various health problems. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals, terminate the chain reaction, and inhibit other oxidative reactions while being oxidised themselves.
Why Are Antioxidant So Important?
There is growing evidence that antioxidants have great benefits for both humans and animals. Antioxidants control the damage that free radicals can do to the body.
Therefore, the right antioxidant nutrients have an important place in the development of functional foods suitable for specific growth stages, lifestyles or activity levels, and can provide functionality for foods that are designed to solve specific health problems.
Antioxidants And Your Diet
Antioxidants are found in many foods, including vegetables, fruits, grains, eggs, meats, legumes and nuts.
- Vitamin C: Citrus fruits (like lemons and limes), Berries, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and spinach
- Vitamin E: Nuts (peanuts, sunflower seeds, etc.), sea buckthorn fruit and malt, almonds, etc.
- Carotenoids: Carrots, spinach, cabbage, and broccoli
- Polyphenol Antioxidants: Tea, coffee, soybeans, fruit, olive oil, chocolate, cinnamon, oregano
- Selenium: Rice, corn, wheat, and other whole grains, as well as nuts, eggs, cheese, and legumes
Research shows that rich, brightly colored foods often contain the most antioxidants. That's why many nutrition experts are advocating a rainbow diet, which helps us get a rich and balanced dose of antioxidants in one meal.
Ways to Boost Your Antioxidant Intake
We've listed some tips here to help you make their antioxidants part of your diet, the Science of Antioxidant Diet:
1. Drink a small glass of orange juice with your breakfast, it's a good source of vitamin C.
2. Eat a serving of greens every day - they contain a range of antioxidants including carotenoids, vitamin C, lutein and more!
3. When eating fruits, leave the skins of fruits and vegetables on whenever possible. Research studies have shown that apples with the skins on provide you with about 30 per cent of the antioxidants.
4. Use chilli powder, cumin, ginger, cloves and cinnamon to flavour meat dishes, soups and marinades. These seasonings are concentrated sources of antioxidants.
There is data to suggest that antioxidants help maintain normal body function and structure. Supplementation with antioxidants may be beneficial in maintaining the overall health of the heart, skin, joints and certain conditions of the renal system. However, it is important to note that when purchasing a single antioxidant, one should not rely too heavily on its description (as having therapeutic, preventive or curative properties).
We need to consume a wide range of antioxidants or nutrients to ensure we stay healthy and the best way to do this is through a healthy, balanced and varied diet.