Antioxidants are chemical compounds, which inhibit oxidation reactions that occur in the body and thus protect against various diseases and unhealthy changes in our organism. In a nutshell, we can say that antioxidants repair the damage that free radicals cause in our bodies. Free radicals, in turn, are toxic compounds, by-products of biochemical processes that damage the genetic material in our bodies.
How antioxidants work
Antioxidants effectively neutralize the formation of free radicals, which are responsible for negative changes. Regularly supplied antioxidants greatly support health and significantly reduce the risk of contracting various diseases of civilization. Besides, these compounds have a protective effect on the digestive system. Antioxidants can also reduce the risk of diabetes, joint disease, kidney disease, and diseases of the nervous system.
Antioxidants in food
The best sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables. There is a reason why it is recommended to add vegetables to every meal of the day. It is important to know that orange, red, and dark green vegetables contain the most antioxidants. In addition, fish is an equally excellent source of antioxidants. An extremely powerful antioxidant is DHA and EPA, which are unsaturated fatty acids found in fish and seafood. In addition, you should also remember about whole grain cereals, which are also an excellent source of antioxidants. It is extremely important to pay attention to your diet every day, especially in terms of antioxidant intake.
Vitamins A, E, and C are some of the best antioxidants. All of them are essential for the proper development and functioning of our bodies. Each of them should be provided every day with dietary sources or in the form of dietary supplements. Vitamin A as an antioxidant vitamin affects the growth of epithelial cells. Thanks to this, it protects against the formation of various mutations in the body and also inhibits unnecessary processes of cell proliferation. Moreover, it is essential in the process of vision and synthesis of reproductive cells.
Vitamin E has been called “the vitamin of youth”. It is primarily this vitamin that inhibits the body’s aging processes, ensures the proper appearance of the skin and its proper condition. As an antioxidant, it prevents the oxidation of fats, proteins, and DNA, which prevents their destruction. Vitamin E also protects against atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Vitamin C primarily increases immunity, participates in the synthesis of collagen, and improves the absorption of iron. As an antioxidant, it inhibits the conversion of nitrates (contained, among others, in processed foods) to nitrosamines, which are toxic and mutagenic compounds.