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The Benefits of Adding More Antioxidants to Your Diet

Category: 

Lifestyle Improvement

Posted On: Feb 13, 2015

Berries

Oxidation is a natural process that happens to all organic matter. Think of apple slices left on the kitchen counter that turn brown. That brown color is evidence of oxidation happening. When oxygen comes in contact with a cell, the cell usually dies. This isn’t really a huge problem for the human body, because cells can easily be regenerated. But on a larger scale, slowing down the process of oxidation is something that is definitely beneficial for your body so that it has time to focus its energy on other tasks.

Antioxidants can help reduce the level of oxidation happening in your body. Some of the more common antioxidants are vitamin C, beta-carotene, flavonoids, and lycopene. While you can take antioxidant supplements, research suggests that people who eat foods with naturally occurring antioxidants see the greatest benefit. Do you need some more motivation to change your diet? Here are some benefits that antioxidants provide.

1.      They reduce free radicals. As mentioned above, oxidation usually results in the death of a cell. Every so often, however, the cell is not killed but just damaged at the molecular level. These damaged cells are called free radicals. Free radicals are dangerous, because an unstable cell is essentially chemically volatile and will search for other molecules in other cells to bond with. In this process, other cells can become damaged and sow the seeds for disease. Adding more antioxidants to your diet can reduce this whole process.

2.      Antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties. Polyphenol antioxidants found in coffee and tea may help reduce heart disease. Polyphenols prevent the oxidation of fats, which can cause inflammation throughout the body and increase risk for heart disease.

3.      They help your skin look great. The combination of UV rays and oxygen will damage your skin. Oxidation of the skin can cause damage to the parts of the cell and even to the DNA of the cell, leading to an aged look or even skin cancer. Beta-carotene and vitamin E have been found to be an excellent antioxidant combination for protecting the skin.

4.      They help you feel young. Vitamin C and vitamin E might help to slow down aging and even prevent memory loss. Scientists found that the brains of people who eat a lot of blueberries in particular were able to create brain cells that maintain the necessary connections for communication.

5.      Antioxidants give your immune system a boost. By reducing the amount of free radicals in the body, antioxidants like selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E can help support necessary immune function to stave off disease. Some antioxidants even help produce enzymes that are important in the prevention of cancer.

6.      Different antioxidants help different parts of the body. You’ve heard that carrots are good for your eyes, right? Well, that’s entirely true: the beta-carotene in orange fruits and vegetables benefit eye health. The lycopene in tomatoes is good for prostate health, too. And flavonoids in chocolate and coffee are great for heart health.