Antioxidants represent a very helpful class of molecules that can help to inhibit the oxidation of other kinds of molecules. In the human body, antioxidants tackle highly reactive atoms known as free radicals, helping to lower a person’s risk of developing a host of serious illnesses and slow down natural aging processes.
While there is a wide range of antioxidant supplements available over the counter, most dieticians advise that people try to get as many antioxidants as possible from their diet. There are a multitude in foods of plant origin, especially vegetables and fruits. Here are just a few benefits you can expect to gain by boosting your antioxidant intake:
1. Improved Heart Health
Antioxidants found in morning beverages such as tea and coffee – known as polyphenol antioxidants – are thought to lower the risk of developing heart disease. This is because they prevent fat oxidation, thus limiting the kind of internal inflammation that can lead to conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. If coffee is your thing, try to go for light roasts over dark roasts, as these have been shown to be richer in antioxidants.
2. Quicker Recovery Speeds After Exercise
During bouts of rigorous physical activity, the body naturally produces a number of free radicals. At the same time, the body produces enzymes to keep the free radicals under control and prevent any damage to the body. Antioxidants can help to support this process by satisfying free radicals’ need for an extra electron, therefore neutralizing their potentially harmful reactivity. In this way, consuming food rich in antioxidants can help to protect your body during exercise.
3. Potential Treatment for Mood Disorders
An increasing number of scientists are coming to the conclusion that there is a link between the production of free radicals and the onset of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. This is because antioxidants are theorized to combat neuroinflammation, often caused by free radicals that can have negative effects on the brain. Antioxidants can help to reduce the production of free radicals and potentially alleviate symptoms of mood disorders.
4. Treat the Mental Symptoms Associated with Aging
Antioxidants found in many fruits such as vitamins E and C may help to lessen the effects of aging on the brain, potentially even reversing some forms of memory loss. They are thought to be able to do this by helping to improve the brain’s capacity to establish strong neural connections.
5. Boost Vision
Substances known as carotenoids, found in a wide range of fruits and vegetables, encourage the body to generate vitamin A. Vitamin A is vital for regulating pigment created by the retina and can help to protect a person’s eyes from sun damage and improve their ability to see in low light.
6. Improve the Signs of Aging
In combating free radicals, antioxidants can help to slow down the visible effects of aging, as well as improving the internal workings of the body. Indeed, a number of studies have suggested that antioxidants may help to minimize the look of wrinkles, keep skin supple, and reduce a person’s susceptibility to sun damage.