- What are the benefits of antioxidants?
- Is there a minimum level of antioxidants requirement on a daily basis?
- The top 5 antioxidant foods
The body uses antioxidants to prevent itself from the damage caused by oxygen. When certain types of oxygen molecules are allowed to travel freely in the body, they will cause what is known as oxidative damage which is the formation of free radicals. Free radicals are very dangerous to the body’s tissues and have been connected to cancer and premature aging.
Therefore, we need lots of antioxidants not only to look and fell young but also to keep our health in check. Antioxidants are a class of molecules that are capable of inhibiting the oxidation of another molecule. Your body naturally circulates various nutrients in your body due to their antioxidant properties. It also manufactures antioxidant enzymes in order to control free radical chain reactions.
Some antioxidants are produced by your body, but some are not. In addition, your body's natural antioxidant production can decline as you age. So, as you age you might need antioxidant supplements to stay healthy and young.
Some of the benefits of consuming antioxidant rich foods include:
- Slower aging
- Healthy glowing skin
- Reduced cancer risk
- Detoxification support
- Longer life span
- Repair damaged molecules
- Stimulate gene expression and endogenous antioxidant production
Scientifically speaking, there is no RDA or Daily Value set for antioxidants. The levels of antioxidants are however evaluated by ORAC Score (oxygen radical absorption capacity) in which the power of a plant to absorb and eliminate free radicals are tested. So, get a hold of more antioxidants in your daily diet as it may be help in the reproduction of cells in your body.
There are also two type of antioxidants:
- Enzymatic antioxidants
- that benefit you by breaking down and removing free radicals. They can flush out dangerous oxidative products by converting them into hydrogen peroxide, then into water. Enzymatic antioxidants cannot be found in supplements, but instead are produced in your body.
- Non-enzymatic antioxidants
- that benefit you by interrupting free radical chain reactions. Some examples are carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, plant polyphenols, and glutathione (GSH). Most antioxidants found in supplements and foods are non-enzymatic, and they provide support to enzymatic antioxidants by doing a "first sweep" and disarming the free radicals. This helps prevent your enzymatic antioxidants from being depleted.
- Goji Berries – 25,000 ORAC score
- Dark Chocolate – 21,000 ORAC score
- Pecans – 17,000 ORAC score
- Wild Blueberries & Elderberries – 14,000 ORAC score
- Cranberries – 9,500 ORAC score
So, do look out for these kinds of foods when picking out antioxidant products. Numerous studies have confirmed the benefits of antioxidants and the role they play in maintaining good health and reducing your risk of heart disease, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and cancer. Pair antioxidants with some vitamin supplements for a complete dietary menu when you can’t afford to eat freshly made meals.