You may have already heard about antioxidants or wondered what they are. They may have been recommended as a health benefit by a doctor or friend. Either way it’s a fact that many people are asking what are antioxidants good for?
To help you understand more about antioxidants, this article will explain all about antioxidants.
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What are Antioxidants?
An antioxidant is simply a substance that keeps our bodies from breaking down at a cellular level. Cellular degeneration is caused by a chemical called free radical, which is a product of metabolism that creates this unstable molecule that hurts our bodies over time. Some of the harmful effects that free radicals do to our bodies include joint inflammation, damage to the brain’s nerve cells, increased risk of heart diseases, and also damaged cell DNA that can trigger certain cancers.
Antioxidants fight these free radicals so that we don’t get diseases. When our cells degenerate, we are prone to more illnesses that can be a nuisance in our lives. In fact, they are good for our health and provide so much support for different attacks our bodies face every day. You encounter antioxidants quite frequently, usually from the veggies and fruits you buy in your local market. It’s more common than you think.
A bit of facts about ORAC: What is ORAC? Oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) was a method of measuring antioxidant capacities in biological samples in vitro. Because no physiological proof in vivo existed in support of the free-radical theory or that ORAC provided information relevant to biological antioxidant potential, it was withdrawn in 2012.
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Health Benefits of Antioxidants
What Are Antioxidants Good For?
Having a diet with a high amount of antioxidants can already do so much to reduce the risk of many diseases, most importantly because they come with protective effects. For instance, studies show that men who consume plenty of the antioxidant lycopene which is found in tomatoes are less prone to developing prostate cancer. The antioxidant Lutein has also been associated with lowering the risk of eye lens degeneration or vision loss. Flavonoids which are found in green tea are also said to contribute to low rates of heart-related illnesses. The list goes on, but simply put, consuming antioxidants serves as a great preventative to keep the body strong, healthy and free from possible illnesses. Learn more here about sulforaphane.
Do Antioxidants Help you Lose Weight?
Most often, antioxidants are marketed by food companies as a weight loss engine or a necessary diet supplement to add to your health regimen. There are many pieces of research that find no concrete evidence that suggests antioxidants and weight loss are correlated.
Food rich in antioxidants are most likely going to be weight loss friendly so consuming food that is antioxidant-heavy is helpful to shed a few pounds. I hope that you don’t primarily take antioxidant-filled food or supplements only because you want to lose weight, but instead you would go for them as a preventive measure for so many diseases.
Always check with your doctor and follow a recommended plan when trying to lose weight.
What is the Most Powerful Antioxidant?
Antioxidants are chemical substances. To classify the most potent and powerful antioxidant is so difficult to do. However, the popular vitamins that are very common and known for antioxidant potency are vitamins C and E, and Beta-Carotene. These antioxidant-potent vitamins can be found in your everyday fruits like mango, grapes, bananas, oranges, and pomegranates.
It’s still debated today what the best and most potent antioxidant is. If we can take something with absolute certainty, that would be the fact that the potency of the antioxidants depends on the dosage or how much you take on a regular basis.
I listed below some of the top 5 best sources of antioxidants that are recommended to take in terms of taste, potency, and availability.
Top 5 Best Sources of Antioxidants
- Dark Chocolate-Dark chocolate reigns supreme on this list for one sole reason: it’s delicious! Fun fact: Dark chocolate is a more potent antioxidant than the likes of raspberries and blueberries. My favorite dark chocolate is from nuts.com and I love the dark chocolate covered almonds. Learn more about nuts.com, click here.
- Strawberries-Fruits have their own, distinct colors and also look a certain way due to the chemicals found inside them like phytochemicals and antioxidants. In this case, strawberries have anthocyanin, an antioxidant that makes the strawberries you see appear reddish in color. Anthocyanin possesses anticancer, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory effects, and also prevents a number of cardiovascular diseases. With the variety of food you can make with this alongside its health benefits, strawberries deserve the number 2 spot.
- Coffee-Yes, that’s right. That cup of coffee you’re always fond of drinking in the mornings is an antioxidant. Unique because of its high antioxidant qualities – coffee becomes even better and more reasonable to consume. So don’t feel guilty when you drink coffee at your nearest coffee shop. Or I recommend Purity Coffee for your caffeine needs.
- Raspberries-Thanksgiving raspberry pies have now gotten a lot more valuable due to their richness in antioxidants. It’s also so easy to get them since they can be found almost anywhere in the country and especially tastes delicious when pureed. Add cranberries and you have extra powerful antioxidant health benefits.
- Beans-The most affordable antioxidant in this list, beans are great to consume and easy to add to recipes. Eaten in the morning, beans can provide health benefits all day long. Beans are also really good due to their affordability and availability.
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Turmeric has also been found to have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are important because they can reduce inflammation throughout the body and protect cells from damage.
Antioxidants benefit your body in so many ways. For one, antioxidants provide you with the confidence to stay healthy and, at the same time, allow you to be more preventive of diseases. Practicing a diet high with antioxidants not only gets yourself energized in the morning, but also is a good way to consume all the potential health benefits that they contain. So I hope you understand now what are antioxidants good for and that you can improve your health with this new knowledge.
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