In this stressful framework of life healthy eating is one very important facet of healthy living. To keep a healthy balance diet a person should try to eat daily at least a portion of the six major food groups. One of the major elements that need to be incorporated in ones’ food is antioxidants. Antioxidants replenish and minimize the damage to our cells; for example, these cells help us contain a strong immune system to fight infection. They also decrease the aging process our body goes through.
WHAT ARE ANTIOXIDANTS
Your body is in a constant battle against infection, diseases and the formation of free radicals. However, there's a secret weapon that can help you fight against these things: antioxidants! Antioxidants are elements such as vitamins A, C and E that counteract the damage caused by free radicals and help protect your healthy cells. Free radicals are molecules that contain unpaired electrons, which make them highly reactive. In this form, they can cause damage by attacking healthy cells, and when these cells grow weakened, you become more vulnerable to disease.
Free radicals may be produced from normal body functions such as breathing or physical activity, but they are mainly formed from your exposure to environmental hazards, such as pesticides, air pollution and cigarette smoke. Antioxidants work to disable the disease-causing free radicals, thus preventing the damage from occurring. Although your body naturally produces antioxidants, it doesn't produce enough to protect you from free radicals, so that is why it is important to include antioxidant-rich foods in your diet on a regular basis.
BENEFITS OF ANTIOXIDANTS
Increasing one's antioxidant intake is essential for optimum health, especially in today's polluted world. Because the body just can't keep up with antioxidant production, a good amount of these vitamins, minerals, phytochemical, and enzymes must come from one's daily diet. Boosting the antioxidant intake can help provide added protection for the body against, heart problems, eye problems, memory problems, mood disorders, immune system problems, ageing, etc. Antioxidants may play a role in the management or prevention of some medical conditions, such as some cancers, macular degeneration, Alzheimer's disease, and some arthritis-related conditions.
SOURCE OF ANTIOXIDANTS
Antioxidants occur naturally in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, wine, and chocolate. While there are thousands of antioxidant compounds are found in foods like chocolate, wine, and tomatoes. Other popular food containing high levels of antioxidants are Goji berries (25,000 ORAC score), Wild blueberries (14,000 ORAC score), Dark chocolate (21,000 ORAC score, Pecans (17,000 ORAC score), Artichoke: 9,400 ORAC score, Elderberries (14,000 ORAC score), Kidney beans (8,400 ORAC score), Cranberries (9,500 ORAC score), Blackberries (5,300 ORAC score) and Cilantro (5,100 ORAC score).
So next time you go to your grocery store to buy food, don’t forget to add these antioxidants rich food items to your cart. Take time to avail these precious gifts from the natures’ bounty and serve your loved ones with healthy yet savory diet.