I believe you have heard of “antioxidant” but may not sure 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 to protect us against harmful by-products from chemical reactions since our body cells, lipids and fats are constantly involved in reactions with various chemical compounds. The results of the reactions involved can release free radicals. Free radicals are highly unstable molecules that can 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 help us fight the harmful free radicals and render them harmless to our cells, tissues, organs and body functions. Through this, they help us fight diseases as well as in slowing down the effects of ageing.
In general, I would think that women are more interested wanted to know the benefits of antioxidants can have on their skin, i.e. to help prevent skin inflammation, repair skin damage, to reduce facial lines and in 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 for a 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 is easily lost through sweat and urine.
Food sources that are rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits or vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and spinach.
Another vitamin that can act as an antioxidant is vitamin E which plays the role to protect 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 antioxidant properties is vitamin A. You may want to know that vitamin A is needed for cellular health and it plays the role in the production of cells. Dietary sources of vitamin A include carrots and tomatoes.
A mineral such as Selenium is often worked 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 sunflower 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 diseases at bay and promoting our overall well-being.
Tan Kok Hui
Nutrition Made Simple, Life Made Rich