Antioxidant is one of those terms receiving substantial marketing buzz. The quest for profits uses very clever marketing techniques in an effort to lead you to a money spending conclusion. But before you buy you should get some answers to what are antioxidants and their benefits from a source other than an infomercial. This health blurb provides some information to help in decision making, as well as what are the best antioxidant foods.
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidant refers to a property rather than a substance itself. As such, any substance that has the capability of neutralizing a free radical qualifies. Free radicals are molecules that are roaming around in an electron shortage state. So in order to get stabilized, they’ll steal electrons from another. This action can cause a chemical structure modification to the one that’s fallen prey.
When free radical theft is excessive and left unchecked, healthy cell and genetic material damage can result. Thus, your overall health suffers as the destructiveness accumulates over time. However, an ample presence of antioxidants guards against radical devastation by readily donating electrons.
The process of electron taking is known as oxidative damage or stress because the culprit is reactive (electrically charge) oxygen. This form of oxygen is a natural consequence of you just being alive. Yep, free radicals are constantly being produced, even while you sleep, because they’re a byproduct of energy metabolism. Yet, this is not the only source for the making of free radicals. Oxidative stress is also an outgrowth of certain other exposures, like:
- air pollution
- cigarette smoke
- too much sugar, animal fat, trans fat
- extreme bouts of aerobic exercise, particularly when out of shape
What are antioxidants benefits?
Because an overabundance of free radicals can damage cells, antioxidants are believed to reduce the rapidity of aging and development of degenerative diseases, including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, vision loss, Parkinson’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Antioxidants donation of electrons is its beneficial ingredient. Essentially, stabilizing free radicals is theorized to scale back health decline associated with oxidative damage. Antioxidants benefit is realized if extra electrons are readily available at the time they’re needed. The lifestyle led by many in today’s society translates to an immense call for extra electrons. Where do you get them? Food.
Best Antioxidant Foods
Although intriguing, scientific proof isn’t in on the full benefits of antioxidant food in combating free radicals. But what is known lends itself in making some beneficial assumptions regarding the best antioxidant foods.
Your body does make several antioxidant generating molecules. But due to increase in various environmental exposures mentioned previously your need likely outstrips nature delivered supply. The consumption of certain foods is thought to help stem this insufficiency.
Since an array of antioxidant substances are necessary to fulfill the vast complexity of the need, an assortment of foods containing different types of antioxidants is required to confer a total health benefit. So far, research has uncovered some of the beneficial nutrients that need to be supplied via your diet, such as:
- vitamin A
- vitamin C
- vitamin E
- lipoic acid
- coenzyme Q10
These nutrients demonstrate antioxidant properties and are found in a wide variety of foods, for instance:
- grain ~ oats, wheat germ
- beans ~ red, kidney, pinto, black
- melon ~ cantaloupe, watermelon
- drinks ~ coffee, green tea, red wine
- oils ~ safflower, corn, soybean, fish
- animal products ~ liver, milk, egg yolks, cheese, butter
- nuts ~ pistachios, walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts
- herbs & spices ~ cloves, ginger, cinnamon, oregano, ginger, turmeric
- berries ~ blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries
- fruit ~ apples, pears, plums, pineapple, kiwi, apricots, mango, orange, papaya, guava, [peaches
- vegetables ~ tomatoes, collard greens, spinach, kale, broccoli, artichokes, carrots, spinach, red cabbage, potatoes, squash, cabbage, peppers, squash
And dark chocolate.
Generally, if your diet predominantly consists of unprocessed and plant based foods, then the best antioxidant foods are probably already on your plate. Are antioxidant supplements an adequate alternative to a healthy diet? No definitive answer yet, but the support so far is toward nature’s production.