Antioxidants are powerful compounds that provide immense protection against the effects of free radicals. They can help boost immunity, keep the heart functioning optimally, stave off cancer and improve overall health. Antioxidants have the strong potential to neutralize free radicals which are basically unstable molecules that damage the DNA and the cell membranes, thereby triggering a multitude of diseases. Consuming foods which are loaded with antioxidants decrease your risk of developing chronic diseases substantially. That’s why experts advise you to consume a rainbow array of foods!
Why do we need antioxidants?
Free radicals do not have all the electrons; hence, they steal electrons from other molecules (the healthy cells in the body) and impair them in the process. Antioxidants are powerful and they deactivate and defuse free radicals by giving up their own electrons to them, and thus protecting the cells.
Free radicals are an unavoidable part of life. Our body produces free radicals in response to various environmental invectives - smoke, UV rays, noxious agents and air pollution. And they are also naturally produced during certain normal processes within the cells.
Given that free radicals are so insidious, dangerous and tenacious; you require a sufficient supply of antioxidants to annihilate them. The body naturally synthesizes some antioxidants, such as alpha lipoic acid and glutathione. Alongside, certain foods are storehouses for antioxidants and they ought to be part of the diet plan.
The terrific health benefits of antioxidants
- Protects the skin: UV rays cause photo-oxidative damage to our skin. Antioxidants fight off this photo-oxidative damage and also decelerate the ravages of ageing.
- Keep the heart healthy: Free radicals promote LDL cholesterol to stick to the walls of the arteries and increase your risk of developing coronary heart disease. Antioxidants benefits include helping scavenge and annihilate the free radicals and support heart function.
- Boost immune mechanism: Antioxidants protect the DNA and cell membranes and prevent mutation; as a result immunity levels improve.
- Stave off cancer: Antioxidants ward off free radical damage that’s linked to cancer development.
- Protect the brain: The nasty free radicals can cause severe impairment to nerve cells in the brain and can trigger conditions such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. A substantial intake of antioxidants keeps your brain sharp and agile.
7 antioxidant packed foods that you should be eating
1. Strawberry: The strawberry’s distinctive flavonoid content makes it a wonder food! This fabulous antioxidant can help shield the body from cardiac disorders and inflammatory conditions. The fruit is also brimming over with vitamins C and K which protect your skin from the harmful UV rays.
2. Spinach: The spinach has always been considered a vegetable with commendable healing abilities. Packed with carotenes, chlorophyll, vitamins K and C, the spinach guarantees healthy eyesight and helps in the battle against cancer.
3. Turmeric: Curcumin, the yellow pigment in turmeric exerts dominant antioxidant effects. Curcumin protects body cells from free radical damage and exerts a strong anti-inflammatory effect as well. The pigment increases the body’s manufacture of cancer-battling agents such as glutathione (an antioxidant that is synthesized by our body). Tata Sampann Turmeric Powder is scientifically processed and hygienically packaged to preserve its natural goodness. Each packet of haldi offers at least 3 % of curcumin.
4. Pumpkin: Carotenes in the pumpkin protect against the ruthless damaging effects of the sun. The pumpkin also has a fair share of vitamin C which proffers excellent health benefits. These antioxidants can help battle against cancer effectively.
5. Lemon: : The lemon is loaded with the powerful antioxidants vitamin C and flavonoids. These boost your immune mechanism. Limonene, present in the spongy inner parts of the fruit is another robust free radical scavenger which guarantees tremendous health benefits.
6. Honey The health supporting benefits of honey depend on the flowers utilized by the bees and the degree of processing that it has undergone. The darker the honey, the greater is the antioxidant activity. The flavonoids prevent free radical oxidative damage and protect the heart and the vascular system. Honey also ensures quick wound healing.
7. Grapes: Are chockfull of health promoting flavonoids and the much-revered resveratrol. The darker the colour of the fruit, the more is the concentration of the flavonoids. The antioxidants are really potent; and research has shown that they have the ability to reverse atherosclerosis. These robust antioxidants prevent the clumping of platelets and thus ward off blood clot formation and protect against vascular damage. Resveratrol is a great phyto-chemical which protects you from practically all environmental stressors.
Wholesome meals – replete with foodgrains, legumes, lentils, fruits, nuts, and seasoned by natural spices – are always a sure-fire way of staying healthy. Be sure to put that into practice!
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