Do you think people of all age groups are advised to consume these fruits and vegetables? If ‘Vitamin’ is your answer, then you are partially correct. But there will be big hero antioxidants.
Fruits – Especially deep berries are natural reservoirs of greens, nuts – and panoramic antioxidants of food plants. These special foods protect you with powerful ways, so you can stay fit as a Bela – seven, seventeen or seventy! how? You’ll know – keep scrolling down!
Antioxidants are man made or natural substances that can prevent or delay cell damage due to oxidation (see below) Vegetables and fruits are excellent sources of antioxidants. The high amount of these elements increases your immunity and promotes longevity (1).
Some common antioxidants that we all take through our diet are Vitamin C and E, C-carotene, Lycopene, Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These bioactive elements interact with harmful reactive chemical species called free radicals.
What do the free radicals do for your body? How do these antioxidants eliminate them? And where can you get abundant antioxidants? I have got answers to all these questions. So, let’s start searching!
To understand this, you should have more information about free radicals – which are produced continuously on the body’s energy. These free radicals are those values which we pay for using oxygen to build energy – which results in higher energy, potentially harmful bioproducts which we call the original particle. These include species known as Superoxide Oxide, Hydroxyl Radical, Hydrogen Peroxide, Alkoxy Radical, Hypochloror Acid, Peroxinitrite, Organic Hydropteroxide and Peroxil Radical (2).
The name just flew over your head? Let me make them simple. See this diagram.
It is clear from this picture that the free radicals have an unpublished or single electron in their outer orbit (shell) – let’s call it a ‘lonely’.
Green balls are electrons in an antioxidant molecule.
This bachelor requires another unpublished electron or to be stable, pairing with other bacteria (unaffected electrons).
These electrons alone can interact with normal tissue and cause harm. This damage, called “oxidative stress”, can cause inflammation, normal tissue structure and changes in function and cancer. But when these alone electrons interact with antioxidant molecules, they become neutral in reducing the loss.
Antioxidants are designed to neutralize free radicals. Antioxidants are sufficiently stable to donate an electron (another and lonely!) To a raging free radical, which can limit them to the loss (1), (2).
There are three types of antioxidants found in nature. These include phytochemicals, vitamins and enzymes.
Phytochamics are plant-based chemical derivatives – some of which are very powerful antioxidants. (They grow to help plants get exposed to ultraviolet light and other environmental toxins – when we ingest them, we get the benefit!)
Examples: carotenoid, saponin, polyphenol, phenolic acid, flavonoids etc.
Our body makes some of them, while some natural sources such as fruits, essential oils, microbes, and the sun come from!
Enzymes are one type of antioxidant that we make from proteins and minerals within our body that we eat as part of our daily diet.
Example: Superoxide Dismissal (SOD), Glutathione Peroxidase, Glutathione Reductase, and Catalysis.
Now, let’s learn the sources of these antioxidants.
The antioxidant potential of a food source (which can be a fruit, a veggie, a nut, or a drink) is measured by an assay called oxygen radical absence capacity (ORAC).
Orac value is high, strong antioxidant capacity of that particular food source (3).
<! – / w