How Many Different Kinds of Antioxidants Do You Know?

The Different Kinds of Antioxidants

For a younger and healthier you, you need to know where you can get the antioxidants that help fight the free radicals found in your body. You can find them practically anywhere. Just know what they are and try to stock up your shelves and pantries with foods that help fight aging.

For one thing, you can take a look at foods with flavonoids. These are said to have anti-allergy, anticancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. Studies also reveal that flavonoids may help reduce your risk of atherosclerosis and relieve hay fever, eczema, sinusitis, and asthma. You can get them in tea, dark chocolate, apples, pears, berries, and red wine.

Moreover, isothiocyanates provide the sulfur aroma and flavor of cruciferous veggies. They are believed to shield DNA in cells from damage made by carcinogens. Sulforaphane, an isothiocyanate that can be found in broccoli, may deter the development of breast cancer cells. Major foods with this substance include, as mentioned earlier, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and horseradish. Phenolic acids may also protect against coronary heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. These include blueberries, kiwis, plums, cherries, apples, pears, coffee, wheat germ, and bran. As for lowering the risk of cancers, sulfides may help. They can be obtained from foods such as garlic, onion, and leek. Minerals such as selenium, copper, and zinc have antioxidant properties as well when combined with certain enzymes. Vitamins that also act as an antioxidant are vitamins C and E and beta carotene. These are thought to have potential health-promoting properties, including reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease.

Research into antioxidants is still in its infancy. Epidemioligal studies, which look closely into the causes, incidence, and control of disease in populations, show that a diet rich in foods with high levels of antioxidants is linked to longevity and good health. The question now is, should people take high doses of antioxidants?

Antioxidants can act in different ways. Lab studies show that some of them (including the minerals the body uses to produce its own) can at high doses become pro-oxidants that may help potentially damage DNA. This is proof that anything in excess is no longer healthy. The best evidence that supplements have value involves their role in decreasing the risk in muscular degeneration, a disease of the retina of the eye resulting in the loss of central vision. But in most areas of health, the wide mix of antioxidants obtained from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains seem to work more effectively in the body than single supplements with pure antioxidants in tablet form. The supplements may, however, be out of value in some circumstances.

In the end, you just have to balance your meals and eat right. Try to give your body what it needs to fight diseases, yet be careful with just doing too much. You may resort to supplements if you know you’re not eating ideally. Nonetheless, it is always best to talk to a nutritionist so that you know better what to do. The experts know what’s best. So, never make the decision to take meds without consulting your doctor first.

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