Explore The Benefits Of Antioxidants For Overall Wellness

Every time our body is fighting against some diseases and infections in order to keep our body disease free. Free radicles are also one of the major obstacles which form due to normal chemical reactions, pollution, breathing, smoking, and physical activity. It is a highly reactive substance that may lead to cause various health issues. Nowadays, you may have heard a lot of buzz about anti-oxidants in the marketplace. So, people need to know about what are antioxidants and their benefits and why is it getting famous.

About Antioxidants

Antioxidants are the molecules that help to fight against the free radicles of the body. Free radicles are unstable molecules that are ready to react anytime with the body cells.

The formation of free radicles is a natural and continuous phenomenon that occurs through environmental toxins like pollution, tobacco, and alcohol. It also forms by exposure to UV radiation which comes from natural sunlight and artificial tanning beds. Additionally, through the metabolism of food while the body breaks down the food molecules to give energy, and from the substance of processed food.

The body adjusts with a small amount of free radicles. However, high levels of free radicles in the body may cause multiple types of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and so on.

Thereby, to prevent the body from the free radicles, it has its defense mechanism i.e. antioxidants. Although, the body makes antioxidants to some extent as per need. But, the amount of antioxidants made by our body is not always sufficient. So, one needs to take the additional antioxidants from other sources as well.

The sources of antioxidants

Eating plant-based products that include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains are good sources of antioxidants. Some common antioxidants that you may know are vitamins C, E, lycopene, and beta-carotene. However, minerals such as manganese and selenium are also good sources of antioxidants. Whereas, some other antioxidants are named as flavonoids, phytoestrogen, polyphenols, glutathione, and so on. One may get enough antioxidants by including colorful varieties of fruits and vegetables in their diet and get the benefits of antioxidants in enormous amounts. So, let’s discuss the sources of antioxidants.

  • Vitamin C– It is present in both fruits and vegetables. Such as kiwis, oranges, cantaloupe, berries and papaya. Additionally, it lies in broccoli, brussels sprouts, and bell peppers as well.
  • Beta-carotene- Majorly bright orange and yellow colored fruits contain beta-carotene like mangoes, apricot, papaya, cantaloupe, and peaches. Whereas, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, beet greens, peas, and broccoli are some vegetables that are rich in beta-carotene.
  • Vitamin E– Nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables generally contain vitamin E. Such as hazelnut, almonds, sunflower seeds, and peanuts. However, some other sources are spinach, kale, soybean, canola, sunflower, and corn oil.
  • Lycopene– It usually exists in pink and red-colored fruits and vegetables. For example, tomato, watermelon, and grapefruit.
  • Selenium– Mostly, it is present in wheat, rice, pasta, bread, nuts, legumes, and corn. However, animal products also contain selenium such as chicken, fish, turkey, and beef.
  • Flavonoids– Berries, apples, grapes, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and tea are some of the foods that contain flavonoids.
  • Polyphenols- Red wine, green tea, coffee, dark chocolate, oats, almonds, apple cider vinegar, chicory, and berries.

There are a lot of other antioxidants other than those we have not discussed here. Each antioxidant has its special benefits but one should not overconsume it at any cost as may lead to cause harmful effects on health even if it’s healthy. Plant sources always contain high amounts of antioxidants than animal sources. So, one should prefer to use plant sources instead of animal sources in the diet to get the benefits of antioxidants.

How do antioxidant and free radicles work?

The antioxidant works usually as an electron donor. But, some antioxidants act as electron grabbers as well in certain situations. There are no antioxidants that work in both ways. Because every antioxidant has its unique chemical or biological properties.

Meanwhile, free radicles are the unpaired electrons in their atomic orbital which makes them highly reactive and unstable. Due to this effect, free radicles are always ready to donate or accept the electron to and from other molecules.

So, a person must take enough of anti-oxidant in the diet to prevent the damage caused by free radicles. Thereby, the antioxidant is also referred to as a free radicle scavenger.

But, if the free radicles increase in the body, it may cause oxidative stress on cells which lead to various chronic diseases. It may damage the genetic material by changing the instruction code present in the strands of DNA. And, also makes the cell vulnerable to outside substances by adhering to the cell membrane.

What are the health benefits of antioxidants?

As antioxidants protect the body from free radicals, it also reduces the chances of chronic diseases. Food that contains antioxidants is also rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. So, let’s discuss how antioxidants help to provide various benefits.

  • For Skin

Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E are usually great for the health of the skin.

An adequate amount of vitamin C helps to improve skin by keeping the skin free from wrinkles and reducing dark spots as well. It also protects the skin from the damage of UV radiation from sunlight. However, one needs to apply the sunscreen of a broad-spectrum if using some external active vitamin C ingredient for the skin.

Meanwhile, vitamin E helps the skin by preventing the loss of moisture, protecting it from the sun, and making the skin softer.

  • For cancer

Free radicles appear in the body as a byproduct of certain reactions. Although, our body can remove it to some extent. But, a high level of free radicles may increase the risk of DNA mutation which may lead to cause cancer. So, it is important to take enough antioxidants in the diet for the removal of free radicles.

  • For eyes

As we age, problems with the eyes also arise such as age-related macular degeneration i.e. AMD. Majorly, it is the common reason for vision loss in people over 50 age. But, the use of antioxidants lowers AMD by up to 25 %.

It also prevents the problems of cataracts which occurs due to the build-up of protein in the form of cloud on the lens in front of the eyes. Antioxidants help people with cataracts by improving their blurry vision.

  • For heart

It is recommended to eat fruits and vegetables more in the DASH diet i.e. dietary approach to stop hypertension. This diet is not only given to the patient with hypertension but may give to every patient who is suffering from heart disease.

Many studies show that eating fruits and vegetables helps to lower the symptoms of heart disease. Certain research has shown that it is the effect of antioxidants in fruits and vegetables.

Note, antioxidants may provide enormous benefits to health if taken from the food sources in the diet. But, what if it’s taken from the supplement form?

What are the effects of antioxidant supplements?

Supplements are an easy and convenient way to add nutrients to the diet. It is usually taken to complement the diet in case of deficiency.

But, there are not enough studies showing the effectiveness of antioxidant supplements. Although, it may help to some extent if it’s coming from other supplements like probiotics. Probiotics are dietary supplements that contain beneficial bacteria or yeast for the growth of good bacteria in the gut. One may take probiotic supplements in the gummy form as probiotic vitagoli vitamin gummies contain bacterial strains as well as other nutrients such as apple cider vinegar, cranberry, chicory, omega 3, and many more. These ingredients contain ample amounts of antioxidants which may provide various benefits to health.

But, it is always important to understand the fact that food sources always win the race. So, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to get the benefits of antioxidants. It is because food contains various types of components along with antioxidants. Whereas, supplements contain high levels of antioxidants. Thereby, people need to take the nutrients in combination to prevent diseases. As antioxidant only absorbs better if taken from food sources due to the presence of other nutrients.

However, antioxidant supplements somewhere help people with age-related macular degeneration if it designed for AMD. But, it does not work much to treat other diseases. Additionally, antioxidants are good for health but taking them in high amounts may cause harmful effects especially if it’s taken through supplements.

For example,

  • A person who smokes may increase the chances of lung cancer if they take a high amount of beta carotene.
  • Other than beta carotene, an overload of vitamin C may interact with cancer treatment in the case of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It may also increase the storage of iron in the body in case of hemochromatosis.
  • Along with it, high doses of vitamin E increase the chances of stroke and prostate cancer. It increases the risk of bleeding as well if you are taking blood thinner medicine.

Antioxidant supplements may interact with other medicines as well. So, consult a healthcare professional before including any supplements in the diet. As it has both positive and negative side effects on health. A person should never use supplements as a replacement for the diet. One should always try to take a maximum of antioxidants through food sources only.

Effect of cooking on antioxidants

Antioxidants may or may not be affected by the cooking procedure. It may vary with different food groups.

Some vegetables such as peas, zucchini, and cauliflower lose their antioxidant properties while cooking. However, the presence of lycopene in the tomatoes becomes readily bio-available after cooking. As the cooking processes differently affect different food varieties.

So, one should consume both raw and cooked forms of food to get the most antioxidant out of food.

Dietary tips to increase the intake of antioxidants

There are a lot of ways to include enough antioxidants in the diet as follows:

  1. Add vibrant colors to your plate such as berries, spinach, papaya, apricot, and so on. The intake of colorful fruits and vegetables increases the antioxidant amount on your plate and your diet. The dull color of food usually doesn’t contain a good amount of antioxidants.
  2. Include fruits and vegetables every time you eat lunch, breakfast, or snacks.
  3. Take a cup of green and matcha tea as it contains antioxidants, catechins which gives various benefit to health.
  4. Always eat dry fruits and seeds which does not contain any salt and sugar during your snack time.
  5. Try to add onions, garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, and cumin while cooking food as it increases the flavor as well as antioxidant properties of food.

As per RDA, i.e. recommended dietary allowance, there is no particular amount of antioxidants recommended to a person. Just try to include enough varieties of fruits and vegetables in your diet rather than using supplements without consulting a doctor.

In conclusion,

Accumulation of excess free radicles in the body may lead to various chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, vision loss, cognitive disease, diabetes, and many more. Although, antioxidants help the body to fight against free radicals. But, it is also true that taking additional supplements of antioxidants may not treat it.

As per recommendation, one should take the antioxidant from plant-based products such as fruits and vegetables. It is because fruits and vegetables are natural sources and there is less chance of toxicity from these sources.

However, supplements help by treating certain diseases to some extent like age-related macular degeneration. But, there are not enough studies showing the same for every disease. Also, supplements contain high doses of antioxidants so they may lead to cause adverse effects on health if uses for long. Thus, talk to a health expert or dietician before taking supplements as they will guide you as per your health condition.


Are antioxidants supplements safe to consume?

There is no black-or-white answer to this question. As taking antioxidant supplements may completely depend upon the condition and requirements of an individual. However, high doses may cause adverse effects on your health.

Why do we call it antioxidants?

It is named an antioxidant because it prevents the oxidative stress that occurs by the free radicles. Free radicals are a highly reactive substance that is responsible for the damage of the genetic material, DNA.

Why should we consume antioxidants?

Environmental conditions, metabolism, exercise, and smoking usually form free radicals and it occurs naturally every time. Although, our body can fight against free radicles. But the high level of free radicles may cause various chronic diseases. Thereby, the consumption of antioxidants in sufficient amounts is necessary to combat free radicles.

Which antioxidant supplement should be consumed?

It is not recommended to take any antioxidant supplements without a doctor’s advice due to their concentrated dosage. However, one may take other supplements which contain ingredients that are rich in antioxidants such as probiotic gummies. As probiotics have several benefits for overall wellness. So, to add probiotics to the diet, you may check out Arechar’s Vitagoli probiotic gummies.

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