Antioxidants are the substance that protects the cells against the harmful effects of free radicals. They are present in foods and prevent the oxidation, a process which causes damage to the body. When the body uses oxygen, the by products which are produced are called free radicals which leads to cell damage. Antioxidants act as free radical scavengers and they prevent or repair the damage caused by the free radicals. Antioxidants are not produced by the body, they have to be taken through food.
The common antioxidants are vitamins A, C and E and the mineral selenium.
Free radicals are molecules produced when the body breaks down the food or by environmental exposures like smoke, radiation and tobacco.
These free radicals can damage cells and play an important role in leading to heart disease, cancer and other disease. They cause dysfunction of cell.
They prevent the damage to the body cells or do the repairing which is already damaged. They improve immune function. They lower the risk of infection and cancer.
Antioxidant substances are:
- Vitmain A.
- Vitmain C.
- Vitmain E.
Antioxidants are found in foods like vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, meat, fish and in poultry.
Foods rich in antioxidants oranges, sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin mangoes, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, guava, papaya, apricots, cereals, nuts, broccoli, fish, poultry, egg yolk.
Benefits of antioxidants:
- It helps to boost the immune system.
- Helps in protecting the integrity of cell and the collagen tissue, hence they are used in treatment of wrinkles.
- It helps to protect the blood vessel form deposition of fats and helps to maintain the elasticity of the blood vessel, hence preventing heart disease.
- Helps to maintain good cholesterol
- They helps in maintaining the capillary fragility.
- It prevents infertility.
- It promotes growth of tissues and prevents destruction of DNA.
- It increases the stamina.
- It helps in wound healing and reduces the scar formation.
- It has anti aging properties.