A diet high in antioxidants may reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease and certain cancers. Antioxidants can reduce free radicals from your body’s cells and prevent or reduce the damage caused by oxidation. Many health professionals use antioxidants for treatments of stroke and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. They have also been useful in treating brain injury and may slow and even prevent the development of cancers.
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What is Oxidation
The process of oxidation in the human body produces unstable chemicals called free radicals, which damage cell membranes and other structures. Free radicals can damage DNA’s instructional code, causing our new cells to grow incorrectly, leading to aging.
A limited number of these free radicals in your body is okay, but excessive levels of free radicals have been linked to the aforementioned diseases.
Other effects of excessive free radicals include:
- Inflammation of joints
- Degenerative eye diseases
- Acceleration of Aging
- Mutation of cells commonly associated with tumors
Symptoms of Oxidation
There are no “official” symptoms but ailments or common indicators include fatigue, headaches, noise sensitivity, memory loss and brain fog, muscle and joint pain, wrinkles and gray hair, vision trouble and decreased immunity.
How To Increase Antioxidants
Evidence suggests that antioxidant supplements do not work as well as the naturally occurring antioxidants in foods such as fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants are found in certain foods and may prevent some of the damage caused by free radicals by neutralizing them. These include the nutrient antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E, and the minerals copper, zinc and selenium.
Antioxidants and Viruses
Flu shots are probably the best thing you can do to fight off the common cold and flu.
Research published over the past decade shows that polyphenol antioxidants suppress viruses.
So it makes sense to adopt any diet or lifestyle measure that might reduce the risk or severity of an upper respiratory infection.
These naturally occurring compounds abound in colorful fruits and vegetables, tea (green and black), extra virgin olive oil, natural cocoa, all culinary herbs, and in many medicinal herbs, such as curcumin.
Foods High in Antioxidants
- Kidney beans
- Black beans
- Alfalfa Sprouts
- Granny Smith apples
- Red Delicious apples
- Gala apples
- Red Bell peppers
- And everybody’s favorite…Brocolli
Conclusion of Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Excessive free radicals in your body contribute to chronic diseases and a wide array of issues. This doesn’t automatically mean that substances with antioxidant properties will fix the problem, especially if you’re just popping a pill or supplement. At the same time, abundant evidence suggests that eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, all rich in networks of naturally occurring antioxidants may provide protection against many scourges of aging and free radical buildup.
What is your favorite antioxidant-rich food? Leave a comment below.