I believe you have heard of “antioxidant” but may not sure what its effect on our health. If so, let me share with you.
Antioxidants can work in every single cell in every part of our body, because of that it is not surprised to learn that antioxidants can help us fight disease, stay fit, feel and look young. Hence, antioxidants are linked to softer and younger-looking skin, immunity against infection, disease prevention, better mental faculties and more.
Our body cells need antioxidants for protection against harmful by-products of chemical reactions since our body cells, lipids and fats are constantly involved in reactions with various chemical compounds. The results of the reactions involved is that this releases free radicals which are highly unstable molecules that will attack our normal cells and molecules thus cause damage to our cell wall and DNA within the cell in any part of our body. In the long run, this free radical activity will have a negative impact on ageing, e.g. senility and degenerative diseases.
Luckily, antioxidants together with certain enzymes in our body can help us fight the harmful free radicals and render them harmless to our cells, tissues, organs and body functions. The effects of this will help us fight diseases as well as in slowing down the effects of ageing.
In general, I would think that women will be more interested want to know the benefits of antioxidants have on their skin, e.g. help to prevent inflammation, repair damage, and reduce lines as well as firming up their skin for that youthful glow.
Unfortunately many antioxidants that we need cannot be produced by our body, and must be consumed by way of antioxidant supplements. In addition to that, antioxidant supplements are good to be combined with vitamins A, C, E and mineral and selenium to achieve better effect.
Amongst the vitamin, vitamin C is the best-known antioxidant that can protect our cells from free radical damage. In fact, vitamin C offers a wide variety of health benefits such as in supporting our immune system, help in strengthening the blood vessels and minimising bruising as well. Unfortunately, vitamin C needs to be constantly replenished as it is water-soluble and easily lost through sweat and urine.
Food sources that are rich with vitamin C include citrus fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and spinach.
Another vitamin that can act as an antioxidant is vitamin E which is important for protecting our cells from destruction. The drawback about vitamin E is that after it interacted with free radicals, it must be regenerated as it will be eliminated from our body. What this means is that, we must include a sufficient amount of vitamin E in our diet. Foods that are rich in vitamin E are nuts, seeds and whole grains.
Another nutrient that is good for healthy eyes and skin and with anti-oxidant properties is vitamin A. As I understand vitamin A is needed for cellular health and it plays the role in the production of cells. Dietary sources for vitamin A include carrots and tomatoes.
Mineral such as Selenium often works together with other antioxidants and is important for the proper functioning of many proteins and enzymes involved in fighting free radicals. Selenium can be found in nuts, liver, fish and sun-flower seeds.
Chromium has potential beneficial antioxidant effects on people with Type 2 diabetes mellitus and is needed for normal bodily functions.
From the above, we can see that antioxidants are essential for nurturing our cells, keeping disease at bay and promoting our overall well-being. In short, antioxidants can have beneficial effects on just about any part of our health.
Tan Kok Hui
Nutrition Made Simple, Life Made Rich