Body cells need energy and power to face threats on daily basis. Infections and viruses attack immunity and overall health while free radicals affect DNA and body tissues. Some cells are strong enough to heal damages while others need more help than usual. One thing that turns out to be important is to handle free radicals with care as they are significantly involved in the aging process as well as cause diseases like heart problems, cancer and diabetes.
Antioxidants are the best and most effective solution to deal with free radicals as they have the ability to balance their production and performance. Antioxidants basically prevent free radicals from damaging body cells; instead they reverse the impact and boost immunity over time.
Tips for Improved Health
Free radicals are basically man-made or natural elements that are:
- Chemicals produced by the body upon consuming food to create energy
- Environmental toxins such pollution, tobacco and alcohol
- Tanning beds or ultraviolet rays from the sun
- Elements present in processed food
So, what should be done to fight against free radicals? Antioxidants could be the ultimate solution with their ability to resist negative effects of smoking and other unhealthy substances. The body also produces certain antioxidants while some can be received from certain food. These common antioxidants include:
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
- Vitamind A
How to Get Antioxidants in Your Diet
People just have to maintain a healthy diet in order to ensure proper intake of these antioxidants. Their food intake should comprise of vegetables and fruits along with whole grains, nuts and seeds. The question of how to get antioxidants in your diet can be solved with the help of expert nutritionists who used to emphasize on taking enough nutrients to keep the body healthy, active and energetic for a longer time period.
Food Items to Take as Antioxidants
1. Blue, Purple and Red Grapes
Dark-colored fruits like grapes are rich in phytochemicals that help the body to fight against heart diseases and cancer. Two types- proanthocyanidin and anthocyanin- give strength to the immune system, thereby allowing the body to resist virus attacks in one way the other. Whether they are red, purple or blue grapes, there is significant intake of selenium and vitamin C.
According to recent studies, blueberries are capable of preventing cells from numerous damages while reduce inflammation over time. Blueberries are famous for having many minerals and vitamins that enable the body to work with phytochemicals against heart problems.
3. Red Berries
Strawberries and raspberries have a high proportion of ellagic acid that kills cancer-causing elements from the body, entering either from the environment or through diet.
Nuts turn out to be the worth considering solution of how to get antioxidants in your diet as they have got an incredible balance of nutrients and minerals naturally. They provide healthy fats and a good amount of carbohydrates and proteins. Every nut type possesses a unique nutritional profile that is beneficial for certain parts of the body. Walnuts are rich in omega-3s while Brazil nuts are intended for selenium intake.
5. Dark Green Veggies
Following the approach of Popeye, science has proven that spinach and broccoli are actually good for health. Collard and Kale greens are also the esteemed users of dark green veggies.
These veggies are the ultimate providers of vitamin A, C and E, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Needless to say, they are also having a significant amount of antioxidant phytochemicals, particularly kaemferol that dilate blood vessels along with bringing the best out from their anti-cancerous properties. Kale, lettuce and leeks are famous for providing two strong antioxidants- quercetin and lutein.
6. Orange Vegetables and Sweet Potatoes
Apart from russet potatoes, sweet potatoes are taking up a significant place on the menus, thereby replacing traditional fries in restaurants with sweet potato fries.
Sweet and white potatoes are high in beneficial nutrients like vitamin B6 and C, fiber and potassium. But, sweet potatoes have got an edge in terms of having a whopping amount of calcium and Vitamin A.
As far as orange vegetables are concerned, the body can expect to derive a high proportion of Vitamin A by consuming carrots while acorn squash and butternut are the best source to receive vitamin C.
7. Whole Grains
When it comes to bringing dietary changes to improve health, switching to whole grains is what each body needs. Taking whole grain bread and brown rice instead of white rice or bread ensures sufficient supply for fiber and other minerals.
Some researches have proven that taking at least one bowl of whole grain a day is one of the natural ways to cleanse your body as the result of which, they reduce the risk of stroke and other heart diseases.
Lowly beans are among the top options on how to get antioxidants in your diet as they are the complete package of minerals, vitamins and nutrients. Soy and green soybeans are the provider of vitamin C, selenium, calcium and zinc while black-eyed peas and lentils offer zinc and folate. Kidney beans and black beans are rich in folate.
Fish is known for its richness in omega-3 fatty acids that resist inflammatory diseases like coronary heart problems and the likes. However, some fish types have more proportion than others like oysters, sardines, mackerel, salmon, wild rainbow trout, herring, tuna steak, shark steak and albacore tuna. They also provide vitamin D.
Diseases Antioxidants Fight
1. Cardiovascular Diseases
Antioxidants are responsible for strengthening the body organs so that they can fight against any potential disease arising in any of the body part. Since veggies and fruits are rich in antioxidants, they can reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Nuts are also responsible to ensure resistance while keeping proper functioning of heart.
Antioxidants, fruits, tea, herbs, vegetables and spices have shown incredible protective properties against cancer that are enough to keep the body healthy and active for the entire life. However, it’s necessary to pay attention of possible interaction between chemotherapy drugs and antioxidant supplements that use free radicals to kill cancer.
3. Macular Degeneration
There are certain antioxidants that are capable to fight against degeneration while zeaxanthin and lutein (antioxidant types) have the ability to back other benefits derived from fruits and vegetables.
Since the body loses its ability to produce antioxidants with old age, quite a few believe in the value of dietary elements. Though, there are no evidences that antioxidants could prevent wrinkles, hair graying etc.