An antioxidant is commonly associated with health. You may have heard of foods or products advertised as rich in antioxidants. But if you are unsure of what exactly it is and its benefits, read on as we have the answers.
To begin, let’s understand what antioxidants are. Antioxidants are molecules that fight the free radicals in the body. A balanced level of these free radicals can be beneficial as they help fight infection in the system.
However, excessive free radicals in the body could damage cells and cause various diseases such as cancer, heart problems, and diabetes. So, antioxidants are needed to control the number of free radicals.
Various factors could cause the production of excessive free radicals, including environment, stress, and lifestyle.
Some of them are insufficient oxygen in the body, infections, toxins, smoking, alcohol, and air pollution. Antioxidant deficiency could also be a cause. So, a sufficient amount of antioxidants is beneficial for health. Below are its specific benefits.
Top 5 Benefits Of Antioxidants To The Body
1. Improve eye health
Antioxidants can help prevent cataracts and other age-related macular degeneration. They may also slow down their progression if you already have them. For example, beta-carotene is an antioxidant known to aid in improving eyesight.
Vitamin A is another antioxidant that’s good for eye health as it hydrates the cornea and aids in developing the retina’s pigmentation.
2. Keeps skin healthy
Antioxidants protect the skin from the effect of free radicals and the sun. It also helps reduce acne and early signs of aging, like wrinkles and fine lines. Besides eating foods that are rich in antioxidants, there are also skincare products that contain these molecules, like SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic.
It combines three antioxidants: ferulic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin E. As a result, it boosts the skin’s protection against free radicals while increasing the production of lipids to prevent wrinkles and improve the skin’s firmness.
3. Promote gut health
Oxidative stress could happen when microbial species are imbalanced in the gut. It could lead to different intestinal diseases like colorectal cancer, enteric infection, and IBD or inflammatory bowel disease.
Antioxidants can help manage the balance of these microbial species, thus promoting gut health. Berries, tomatoes, and tea are all rich in antioxidants that are good for the gut.
4. Decrease inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s response to protect itself against infection. However, the immune system may malfunction and cause inflammation even when there’s no infection.
It could also cause painful and uncomfortable symptoms like muscle pain and headache. Berries, fatty fish, and broccoli are some foods that contain antioxidants that can reduce inflammation.
5. Improve mental health
Oxidative stress is associated with depression and anxiety. You still need help from a mental health professional, but eating foods rich in antioxidants may also improve your mental health.
It can help prevent brain cell damage related to age. Turmeric, nuts, and peppers are some antioxidants considered brain foods.
The cells in the body naturally produce antioxidants. However, you can also get them from foods and other products to boost protection from specific health concerns.