Antioxidants are essentially nutrients that help counter the detrimental effects of free radicals, that are formed during normal metabolism, and through external factors such as air pollution and UV radiation. Free radicals have been implicated in the formation of several diseases such as heart disease and cancer, which highlight the importance of antioxidants that are needed in our diet. Studies have suggested that antioxidants may help strengthen the immune system, thus reducing the risk of cancer or infection.
“Like an orchestra that needs the correct representation of instruments to make a beautiful symphony, our bodies need an array of antioxidants, not just this one or that one, to create harmony in our health”(world healthiest food).
Effect of Free Radicals
- Development of cancer, triggered by damaged DNA cell.
- Premature aging.
- Increase heart as free radical facilitate low density lipoprotein (LDL) (bad cholesterol) to stick artery walls.
Types of Antioxidants
The most common antioxidants that people may be aware of are vitamin A, Vitmain C and Vitamin E, which generally protect cells from damage. Also Selenium helps protect again free radicals, carcinogens, lowers inflammation and stimulates the immune system to help combat infections. Selenium found in tuna, mushrooms, cottage cheese, chicken, cod and cabbage.
Current research is discovering even more different types of antioxidants. Here are few examples of other antioxidants. With these examples listed I am only trying to highlight the different types of antioxidants, and the fact that even more antioxidants are being discovered. If anyone is interested in finding out the functions of any of specific antioxidants, you can subscribe to (Antioxi) http://www.antioxi.net/ for free. They will provide you with you with up to date information on the current research on antioxidants.
Provide protective effects against the formation of cancer and heart disease, and help lower cholesterol levels. Found in leeks, onions, garlic, shallots and chives.
Potent healer for certain types of arthritis . Found in berries, cherries and grapes.
As the name suggests, carrots provides a rich supply of caratenoids. Also other fruit and sweet potato are rich source as as well, as they help slow down the aging process.
Help strengthen the functions of vitamin C, can also act as an antibacterial and helps strengthen blood vessels. Foods that are rich in riboflavin are tea, citrus,tomatoes plums, grape, rock melon, berries, broccoli.
A potent antioxidant and pain killer. Can be found in yellow spice in curry.
Neutralizes cancer causing toxins, before they can damage cells.
In order to get the optimum balance of nutrients and photochemical in your diet, aim to eat a rainbow colored selection of at least 2 fruits and 5 vegetables a day in your meals (Holford, 2008).
Also I would like to emphasize that nutrition is more than just vitamins and minerals. It also consists of food chemistry, biology and many other areas in the the discipline of science and health . So please bear in mind when reading these articles especially the scientific articles.
Holford. P. (2008). optimum nutrition made easy . How to achieve optimum nutrition.
http://www.antioxi.net ( A great site for discovering more information about antioxidants.)