What are antioxidants? Benefits and sources

What are antioxidants? Benefits and sources

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Antioxidants get mention a lot, but its not often explained exact what antioxidants are and how we can really benefit from them. 

That’s why I have decided to write an entire article explaining what are antioxidants! 

I’ll explain what antioxidants are, why they’re important, how we can benefit from them natural food sources full of antioxidants.

Overview of antioxidants

Our bodies produce free radicals and unstable molecules as a reaction to environmental and other factors, all of which cause damage to our cells.

It is believed that antioxidants can prevent or slow the damage caused to these cells.

Free radicals are waste substances that our cells produce as a reaction to the environment and as our bodies process food. 

If our bodies can’t effectively process and remove free radicals, this can result in oxidative stress, which can harm cells and affect body function.

There are many factors that can increase the production of free radicals. These include inflammation (internal), pollution, sun exposure and UV rays, radiation, industrial solvents, ozone and cigarettes (external).

Oxidative stress may increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, Parkinsons disease, arthritis and emphysema. 

This is where antioxidants come into play! They are thought to help stabilize production of free radicals and be extremely beneficial to our overall health!

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    What are antioxidants

    Benefits of antioxidants

    Now that you’re aware of the many causes of free radicals and the damage they can do, its time for the good news!

    Antioxidants can be extremely powerful in slowing or stopping free radicals in its tracks!

    They can protect our cells from the damage free radicals can cause. 

    Although research is continuously evolving around the benefits, most health professionals agree that they play a vital role in disease prevention, longevity and health.

    Some of the benefits include:

    Different types 

    There are sooo many different types of antioxidants it would be ridiculous for me to list every single one of them. So, instead here is a list of  some of them:

    Glutathione
    Quercetin,
    Anthocyanins
    Beta-Carotene and Retinol (Vitamin A)
    Vitamin C
    Vitamin E
    Lycopene
    Lutein
    Polyphenols
    Selenium
    Manganese
    Catalase
    CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10)
    Lignans
    Flavonoids
    Isothiocyanates
    Resveratrol
    Tannins
    Curcumin
    ECGC (epigallocatechin gallate)

    Food sources 

    There are many natural food sources containing antioxidants. Here is a list of some of some foods containing antioxidants that are easy to source and include in your diet!

    Kale
    Spinach
    Red Cabbage
    Beets
    Tomatoes
    Purple or Orange Sweet Potatoes
    Squash
    Carrots
    Beans
    Raw cacao
    Strawberries
    Blueberries
    Raspberries
    Pomegranate
    Goji Berries
    Blackberries
    Sea Buckthorn
    Cranberries
    Purple or Red Grapes
    Artichoke
    Cloves
    Mint
    Cinnamon
    Allspice
    Oregano
    Thyme
    Sage
    Rosemary
    Saffron
    Tumeric
    Pecan
    Walnuts
    Hazelnuts
    Flaxseeds
    Red Wine 

    Although it is important to consume antioxidant rich foods may help with weight control, it is important to pair this with a healthy balanced diet that is maintainable long term.

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