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"Unlock the Secret to Optimal Health: The Importance of Antioxidants in Neutralizing Free Radicals"

"Discover the power of antioxidants in neutralising free radicals and protecting the body from chronic diseases. Learn about the benefits, sources and how to incorporate them in your diet in this comprehensive guide."

Table of Contents

As a nutritionist, I can't stress enough the importance of antioxidants in maintaining overall health and preventing chronic diseases. But how do antioxidants actually work?

Antioxidants neutralise free radicals by donating an electron. Free radicals are unstable molecules that are produced by the body as a result of normal metabolism, but they can also come from external sources such as pollution, radiation, and toxins. Free radicals are harmful to the body because they can damage cells and DNA, leading to a host of health issues.

Antioxidants neutralise free radicals by providing an electron to stabilise them, thus preventing further damage. You could think of them as little bursts of inflammation. This is why they are so important in protecting the body against oxidative stress, which is caused by an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants. This can lead to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, conditions all exacerbated by inflammation. I commonly treat individuals with these conditions by eliminating as much inflammation as possible and introducing a variety of antioxidant-rich foods in their diet. 

The good news is that antioxidants can be found in many different foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Some examples of antioxidants include vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and selenium. Berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are particularly high in antioxidants, as are leafy greens like spinach and kale. Incorporating berries as a snack and leafy greens in your meal will significantly boost your antioxidant levels from food sources.

It's important to note that antioxidant supplements have not been found to be as effective as getting antioxidants from a healthy diet. In fact, in some cases, they can even be harmful. Eating a diet rich in a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is the best way to ensure you're getting the antioxidants you need. Food is the best medicine to start from.

As a nutritionist, I recommend making sure to include a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables in your diet, as well as whole grains and nuts. By doing this, you'll be able to lower your risk of chronic diseases and improve your overall health and well-being. If you are having trouble incorporating these foods into your diet or you have any other concerns about your health, please don't hesitate to reach out to one of our qualified nutritionists at MP Nutrition for help. We can give you a list of antioxidant rich food sources and many other resources to assist you in your wellness journey. 

In summary, antioxidants are essential to our health and well-being. They neutralise free radicals by donating an electron and prevent them from damaging cells and DNA, thus protecting the body against oxidative stress that can lead to chronic diseases. Eating a diet rich in a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is the best way to ensure you're getting enough antioxidants. So, make sure to include a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables in your diet, as well as whole grains and nuts.Taking care of your health by getting the right nutrients can have a positive impact on your well-being, so make sure to prioritise it today!

References

  1. Halliwell, B. (2006). Reactive species and antioxidants. Redox biology is a fundamental theme of aerobic life. Plant, Cell & Environment, 29(7), 707-725. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3040.2006.01530.x
  2. Block, G., Cole, K., & Levin, B. (2011). Antioxidant phytochemicals: a review of their mechanisms of action, sources, and potential for cancer prevention and treatment. Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics, 7(4), 289-298. https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-1482.93471
  3. van den Berg, R., Haenen, G. R., & van der Vijgh, W. J. (2000). Free radicals and antioxidants in exercise. Sports Medicine, 29(2), 107-118. https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200029020-00001
  4. Kim, Y., & Chun, O. K. (2015). Antioxidants and oxidative stress in exercise. Korean Journal of Sports Medicine, 33(2), 75-82. https://doi.org/10.5763/kjsm.2015.33.2.75

Zaid, A., Abuirmeileh, N., & Akhtar, M. (2004). Antioxidant activity of commonly consumed fruits in Jordan. Food Chemistry, 84(2), 183-187. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0308-8146(03)00299-3

FAQ’s

  1. How do antioxidants work?

Antioxidants neutralise free radicals by donating an electron, which prevents them from damaging cells and DNA. This is why they are so important in protecting the body against oxidative stress, which can lead to chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

  1. What are free radicals? 

Free radicals are unstable molecules that are produced by the body as a result of normal metabolism, but they can also come from external sources such as pollution, radiation, and toxins. Free radicals are harmful to the body because they can damage cells and DNA.

  1. What are some examples of antioxidants? 

Examples of antioxidants include vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and selenium. Berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are particularly high in antioxidants, as are leafy greens like spinach and kale.

  1. Are antioxidant supplements as effective as getting antioxidants from a healthy diet? 

Antioxidant supplements have not been found to be as effective as getting antioxidants from a healthy diet. In fact, in some cases, they can even be harmful. Eating a diet rich in a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is the best way to ensure you're getting the antioxidants you need.

  1. What should I do if I am having trouble incorporating antioxidants-rich foods into my diet? 

If you are having trouble incorporating these foods into your diet or you have any other concerns about your health, please don't hesitate to reach out to a qualified professional for help.

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