So, what on earth are Free Radicals and why should we care? And on that note, what exactly are antioxidants and why does our body need them?
Let’s take one step at a time because to understand antioxidants you need to take one step back and understand free radicals.
Basically, free radicals (yes, that is actually the name) are hazards that our body tries to overcome every day. Without trying to be a chemist or go into too much detail, free radicals are formed in our body during its oxidisation stages. Anything from our diet to stress or smoking to pollution or even the sun can be a source of free radicals.
Source: Modern Farmer
So this is bad because they attack our good cells and that’s where antioxidants come in. Antioxidants play a role in our bodies to fight the free radicals, which left alone, can cause a wide range of illnesses and diseases. Antioxidants help prevent cell damage caused by oxidation. This also means one very important thing – anti ageing!
Source: Connect Vending
To put it plainly, antioxidants act as a protector of our skin. Over oxidisation can cause damage to our skin cells which impact the protein in our DNA and contribute to aging, sunburn and skin cancers.
While our body naturally creates antioxidants we can easily boost our intake through food. Foods rich in antioxidant can give our body extra protection for our eyes, heart, memory and immune system as well as slowing sign of aging.
Source: Blueberry Council
Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries are among the top source of antioxidant. Given these are often expensive to buy fresh, you can always find them in your freezer aisle. As for vegetables, stick to artichokes, okra, (lady fingers) kale, broccoli, asparagus and sweet potatoes.
Source: BBC Good Food
Perhaps you didn’t know though that nuts have a high source of antioxidants. While almonds, hazelnuts, cashews and pecans can all help fight oxidisation it’s walnuts that deserve a special mention. Walnuts are high in vitamin E, omega 3, low in cholesterol and with unique and powerful antioxidants it’s no wonder they are considered a super food.
Source: David Wolfe
So, get to it! Start to help your body by eating lots of fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants as well as nuts.
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Happy free radicals busting!