As a substance that helps prevent the damaging effects of free radicals throughout your body, antioxidants are plentiful in many foods, primarily fruits and vegetables. But do you ever know the real purpose it serves for our body? If you are wondering, there are beneficial interactions between antioxidants and other components of our cells. Thus, even health authorities say that getting antioxidants from food may offer health benefits, which we have listed for you below:
1. Boosts our brain function and slows down brain aging
The importance of antioxidants is significant to our cognitive well-being. Brain cells of people diagnosed with devastating cognitive conditions show evidence of damage by free radicals. Studies reveal the consumption of vitamins C and E supplements can lead to better cognitive function and a reduced risk of brain aging. People who consumed the most vitamin C reduced their risk of Alzheimer’s by 34 percent, while diets rich in vitamin E appeared to be eliminating the threat of dementia by nearly half.
Vitamin C can be found in several foods, including papaya, all citrus fruits, broccoli, parsley, and Brussels sprouts. Vitamin E can be found in foods like lettuce, sunflower seeds, avocados, peanut butter and turnip greens.
2. Decreases oxidative stress
The more we are exposed to free radicals, the more antioxidants we need. Cigarette smoke, pollution, drugs, illness, high stress, and sometimes, intense exercise can increase exposure. Antioxidants control free radical formation in the body naturally.
Oxidative stress is a disruption in balancing the production of free radicals and antioxidant defenses and can play a role in the development of diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Oxidation also occurs in heart system, in which LDL cholesterol gets oxidized and causes plaques that will narrow our arteries, blocking them and causing a heart attack. Studies suggest that eating a diet high in flavonoids may lower the risk of heart disease by up to 65 percent. That explains the reason why people who eat plenty of antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables have a low risk of heart disease.
3. As a prevention for cancer
Free radicals can damage the DNA in healthy cells, which may alter their operating instructions and cause them to rampantly reproduce and form cancerous tumors. Lab evidence shows that phytochemicals slow the growth of tumors by discovering and demobilizing free radicals.
People who eat lots of fruits and vegetables have a low risk for some types of cancer. For example, Carotenoid lycopene and beta-carotene that are respectively found in tomatoes and carrots are two potent types of antioxidants for fighting cancer. Other yellow or orange fruit and vegetables are also proved beneficial to equip your body with antioxidants.
4. Responsible to keep our vision healthy
While beta-carotene is beneficial to guard our body against develpoment of cancerous cells, it is also an essential nutrient for healthy eyes. Beta-carotene, which the body will convert to vitamin A, can be found in foods like sweet potatoes, carrots and butternut squash, to name a few. Phytochemicals may also be critical for preserving vision.
Combination of vitamins C and E and beta-carotene, helped to protect against severe and age-related eye conditions, such as macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in people over 65. Another antioxidant called lutein, which is found in spinach and kale, may also help. Retina cells at the back of the eyeball soak up lutein, apparently to ward off free radicals.
Cataracts may also be prevented by consuming lots of foods filled with these antioxidants. Examples including leafy greens, corn or peas, all of which are good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin.
5. Keeps skin healthy and prevents premature aging.
Antioxidants can help protect skin from the damaging effects of the sun. Unlike sunscreens and moisturizers, they can protect your skin from the inside out by guarding your cells from damage. Vitamins A, C and E and the mineral selenium are thought to be particularly helpful in skin care. In addition to helping fortify cells against free radicals, vitamins A and C also encourage cell and tissue growth, helping the body to repair itself. This is very helpful to the skin, which is constantly shedding and regrowing cells, to be able to regenerate regularly and keeps its glow throughout.