You might have heard about antioxidants before. But, how much do you know about antioxidants?
SMILES, here explain what antioxidants are and its benefits.
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules that protects other molecules from a chemical process called oxidation. Oxidation can damage important molecules in our cells, including DNA and protein, which are responsible for many bodily functions.
Molecules such as DNA are needed for cells to function properly, so if they are damaged, the cell can not function. This is why antioxidants are important, as they can prevent or reduce the damage. Uncontrolled oxidation in the body is typically caused by highly reactive molecules known as free radicals.
In other words, antioxidants protect cells from free radicals that occur in the body from exposure to certain chemicals, pollutants, radiation, and as a byproduct of normal metabolism.
What are the health benefits of antioxidants?
Awareness of the potential benefits of antioxidants to body maintenance is growing. Find out how antioxidants can be helpful for your well being.
1. Improves Cardiovascular Health
Not all antioxidants, but polyphenol antioxidants help keep your heart healthy and protect against heart diseases. Some antioxidants like Vitamin C, E, selenium, copper, and zinc also have powerful cardioprotective activity. In addition, the intake of a plant-based diet loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables can prevent cardiovascular issues.
2. Prevents Cancer
Antioxidants are substances that protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals. Free radical damage can lead to cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, dietary antioxidant supplements can aid cancer treatment due to their ability to fight oxidative stress and inflammation.
3. Improves Cognitive Function
Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables have a protective effect against age-related cognitive decline by fighting against oxidative stress. Antioxidant vitamins such as Vitamin C and E have been shown to function as anti-depressants. Moreover, antioxidants were also found to cut the risk of dementiaas well as Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Improves Vision
High dose antioxidant vitamins can help prevent age-related macular degeneration and other eye issues. The American Optometric Association states that antioxidant supplements such as lutein, zeaxanthin, Vitamin C, and E can reduce the risk of cataract formation. Also, Vitamin A nourishes and protects the retina which is important for preventing night blindness.
5. Enhances Immunity
Consuming more fruits and vegetables (loaded with antioxidants) is one of the best ways to improve your immune system. Antioxidants like vitamins A, C, E, and carotenoids boost immune response. Experts suggest that dietary antioxidant supplementation protects the immune system and help treat the conditions related to weak immunity like cough and cold.
6. Promotes Liver Health
The liver metabolizes several compounds that produce free radicals. However, antioxidants scavenge free radicals and maintain the oxidative balance in the liver. This is because oxidative stress leads to deleterious effects in the liver and produces liver diseases. Thus, antioxidants play a role in protecting and restoring normal liver activity.
7. Treats Urinary Tract Infection
Several studies have shown that urinary tract infections (UTIs) can lead to oxidative stress and depletion of antioxidant enzymes, which is why antioxidant supplementation can improve the condition. Polyphenol antioxidants that are rich in berries and other fruits are known to fight UTIs. These antioxidants also help prevent bacterial growth in the urine.
8. Good for Kidney Health
Antioxidant supplements slow down the progression of chronic kidney disease. Antioxidants are particularly beneficial for anyone on hemodialysis to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and increasing the quality of dialysis. Antioxidants found in red bell peppers are really a good option for those with kidney disease.
9. Delay aging
Antioxidants are the molecules that reduce the chance of aging by maintaining the level of oxidants with or without free radicals. That’s because free radicals cause cell damage and inflammation that leads to wrinkles and age spots. Therefore, to many people, antioxidants and anti-aging are closely associated
10. Improves Hair Growth
Antioxidant supplementation helps to strengthen hair and treat nutritional deficiencies that affect the health of your hair. Antioxidants also protect the scalp cells in the blood vessels to promote healthy hair growth. Moreover, antioxidants can protect delicate hair follicles and prevent hair fall caused by oxidative stress.
To Know more about the benefits of antioxidants, and what are the good sources of antioxidants, Keep following SMILES.