You have been hearing about antioxidants but what are they really? Let us take a closer look at antioxidants and their benefits to the body.
Antioxidants are actually nutrients in our foods which have the ability to prevent or even slow down oxidative damages in the body. So what health problems are caused by oxidative damages? Heart disease, diabetes, cancer and macular degeneration are all brought about by oxidative damage. Let us dig deeper to have a better understanding. Whenever the body uses oxygen, free radicals are produced. These free radicals can create havoc and damage in the body. Luckily we have antioxidants. Antioxidants actually hunt free radicals therefore preventing them from doing damage to the body. They also repair the damages done by free radicals. Antioxidants also have the ability to boost the immune system which in turn lowers the risk of developing cancer and infection.
Here are some of the most popular and commonly known antioxidants and where we can get them from.
Vitamin A and Carotenoids
Are you familiar with Carotenoids? Carotenoids are compounds with yellow, orange and red pigmentation found in plants and some carotenoids can be converted to Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant. You may have heard that Vitamin A is needed for good vision. But this is not where the benefits of this nutrient stops. Vitamin A is crucial for normal growth, reproduction as well ad bone development. If you want healthy and glowing skin, you better include Vitamin A in your diet. This nutrient also protects the respiratory, digestive and urinary tracts against infection.
Bright coloured fruits and vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, kale, collards, cantaloupe and peaches are packed with Vitamin A and Carotenoids.
Vitamin C is not just a powerful antioxidant, it has numerous health benefits. It protects the body from infection and help in maintaining healthy bones and teeth. A healthy dose of vitamin C also helps hasten the ability of our body to repair wounds. Vitamin C has immune functions, fighting bacteria, viruses and infection this is why you would usually be advised to up on your intake of Vitamin C when you have common colds. This nutrient also acts as an antihistamine therefore lessening the uncomfortable symptoms of common cold such as stuffy nose and aching. Citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables are packed with Vitamin C. Eat up on oranges, lime, broccoli, green bell peppers, strawberries and tomatoes to feed your body a healthy dose of this nutrient.
Most of the health benefits that we get from Vitamin E comes from its antioxidant properties. There is significant evidence that points to the fact that Vitain E can protect the body against heart disease and even slow down deterioration linked with aging. This nutrient is also known to fight cancer as it protects cells and DNA from cancerous damages, reduces tumor growth and boosts the immune defenses. Vitamin E is also vital for healthy and youthful skin as well as hair and nails. Green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains as well as vegetable oils are packed with Vitamin E! The Moroccan Argan oil is loaded with Vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants!