The word antioxidant is composed of two words; “anti” which means “against” or “in the opposite to” and “oxidants” are the free radicals, which are molecules commonly produced when our bodies break down food substances or by exposure to environmental pollution, radiation or tobacco use. These oxidants or free radicals are a nuisance to our general health as they can damage cells and may also play a key role in causing many life-threatening diseases like cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
So antioxidants designate a molecule that works against the oxidants or free radicals in the body to save it from the harmful effects. Free radicals are produced as a result of oxidation processes in the body, during which a chemical reaction occurs and transfers electrons or hydrogen from one substance to another called as oxidizing agent. During this process free radicals are produced and then start to create chain reactions, which occur in a cell to which they can cause destruction or severe damage. Antioxidants are very effective in terminating such chain reactions as they remove the free radicals, which in their turn inhibit oxidation reactions, afterwards these antioxidants then themselves get oxidized and act as reducing agents such as poly-phenols or ascorbic acid.
Antioxidants are basically molecules in the form of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that shield and renovate the various cells from the damage caused by free radicals. These damages caused by free radicals to the cells in the body lead to a lot of chronic diseases like cancer, arthritis, and atherosclerosis. Free radicals basically weaken the immune system of the individual, and thus the he gets exposed to many infections, colds and flu.
Food Sources Of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are widely found in different natural foods. Foods which are high in vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin A and beta-carotene are commonly known as rich sources of antioxidants. Raw fruits and vegetables provide higher concentration and absorption of antioxidants than the cooked food. Fruits and vegetables with b colors are rich sources of antioxidants; colors like purple, orange, yellow, red and blue are common. Oranges, tomatoes, carrots, apples, prunes, red peppers, spinach, beans, onions, plums, all berries, red grapes, eggplant, and alfalfa sprouts, raisins, apricots, broccoli, turnip, sweet potato, watermelon, pumpkin, papaya, grapefruit, mangoes, tangerines, cauliflower, strawberries, kiwi, mustard, nuts and sunflower seeds are the various natural sources of antioxidants.
Vitamins are not the only source of antioxidants in food but zinc and selenium are also good antioxidants, they help boost up the immune system. Zinc is found in foods like beans, nuts, seafood, dairy products, red meat, cereals, poultry and whole grains. Selenium is found in Brazil nuts, beef and many grain products.
Antioxidants Help In Treating Hormone Imbalance
Hormones imbalance is very common nowadays in both women and men. It’s main cause is the imbalance in the hormones production in the body. Hormones are needed by the body to regulate the growth, metabolism, mood and various sexual functions in the body; these hormones are released into the blood stream by the endocrine glands. A healthy diet can keep the hormones in balance.
In the condition of suffering from hormonal imbalance he/she can get enough help from antioxidants for relieving the symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Many phytoestrogens are antioxidants in nature; phytoestrogens are the plant compounds that are both estrogenic and anti-estrogenic in nature; that’s why they can provide a balancing effect in the body’s estrogen receptors by mimicking the estrogen. Foods such as leafy green vegetables, beans, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and lentils are phytoestrogens. By including these phytoestrogens in your diet you can prevent toxic hormones from causing hormonal imbalance in your body. It also works in balancing the hormones.
Antioxidants can also help produce detoxification enzymes in the body that help detoxify the hormones and keep them in balance. Green tea is rich in antioxidants and provides a good concentration of such enzymes.
Antioxidants play a very vital role in boosting up the immune and glandular systems of the body, which have a direct connection with hormone balance. They support the alkalinity of the body and thus assist in maintaining its natural balance restoring the hormonal balance, detoxifying and strengthening the immune system.
Vitamin B is a b antioxidant; it is needed by the liver while coping with hormonal imbalance. Vitamin B helps to convert the excess amount of estrogen into balanced and fewer dangerous forms, so it helps balancing the hormones in our bodies.
Basma Jalloul offers a lot more other advises concerning heath, antioxidants, body building and more in her website. He also encourages a healthy way of life by offering a selection of top notch product in her antioxidants and health oriented website.
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