Antioxidants can play a huge role in overall health and fighting illness and are something that should definitely be highly prevalent in your life. From supporting your immune system to preventing disease and helping lower cholesterol levels, increasing your intake can do wonders. With that in mind let’s look at what antioxidants are, their actual health benefits and how you can get more into your diet.
What are antioxidants?
The primary function of antioxidants is to protect the body from free radicals. These harmful molecules have strong links to a raft of diseases and nasty conditions, so the more they are combatted the better. In simple terms they are “oxidants,” hence the “anti” term that refers to how they can be controlled.
The body produces oxidants naturally and also receives them from the environment around us in the form of pollution etc. We actually create them to fight off viruses and microbes, but if too many are generated this can lead to serious damage and illness, including cancer and heart disease. In order to ensure a balance, we need to take in external sources of antioxidants so that free radicals don’t completely outnumber them.
The health benefits of antioxidants
As you’ve probably already gathered, antioxidants can play a major role in disease prevention and support various functions and parts of the body. Here are a few specific examples:
- Eye health – Beta-Carotene can play a significant role in visual health and overall eye function.
- Heart health – Flavonoids are very beneficial to heart function and play their part in helping lower cholesterol levels too.
- Skin – a combination of Astaxanthin, Beta Carotene and Vitamin E has been found to help prevent skin damage from overexposure to UV light.
The list goes on and on, and whether it’s a single antioxidant or a combination, it’s clear to see just how important they are.
How to get more antioxidants into your diet
Before we start it’s important to state that if you have any health concerns you should consult your medical professional before drastically increasing your antioxidant intake. That said, it’s quite straightforward to take more on board through simple dietary changes.
The simplest thing to do is to focus on increasing your fresh fruit and veg consumption.
Eat an array of different colours to get the biggest variety of antioxidants and nutrients. Whether it’s a red pepper, orange carrot, green spinach, yellow banana or a blueberry, they all play a supportive role.
You could also look to supplements to counteract any deficiencies and focus on specific health areas that need addressing. Remember though it’s all about balance, so make sure you speak to your doctor for more information and advice if need be.
Now you know more about what antioxidants are, how they support health and where to find them you can up the fight against free radicals. Whether it’s fighting disease, helping to lower cholesterol or just supporting overall health, now’s the time to start paying attention to your diet and make sure you’re getting enough.
As always Team CSN are here to help, call or email us today and we can give you professional, unbiased advice on all your nutrition and supplement needs.