apple and beetroot smoothie

What Are Antioxidants?

apple and beetroot smoothie

What are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are naturally occurring substances in our body and the different types of foods we consume that help to protect our bodies from harmful compounds known as free radicals. What are free radicals? You might ask. Free radicals occur when our body undergoes oxidation reactions for energy production and when exposed to environmental stressors. For more information about free radicals read our blog “Understanding Free Radicals and their Impact on Health

Role of Antioxidants

Antioxidants play a critical role in neutralising these free radicals, preventing them from causing cellular damage that can lead to several diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and neurological diseases. Their role reflects the essence of the saying, “Different strokes for different folks.” – Different antioxidants have different protective properties.

Herbs and Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Incorporating antioxidant-rich foods into your diet can positively impact your overall health. Some examples of these foods include green tea, ginger, blueberries, and hibiscus.

Green Tea: Packed with antioxidants known as catechins, which are tremendously potent in fighting health issues. According to a study, catechins can prevent cell damage, reduce inflammation, and remarkably contribute to heart health. But how do they do this? By scavenging for free radicals within the body and expelling toxins, leading to a reduced risk of diseases.

Antioxidant rich green tea in a cup with a person reading a book
Antioxidant-rich Green Tea

Ginger: Ginger, a common spice, carries a high antioxidant load, with gingerol being the key magic-maker. According to a study, gingerol has powerful anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, indicating its potential in hindering chronic diseases. What is the result? A healthier you, boosted by the natural healing powers of ginger.

Blueberries: Rich with anthocyanins, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. Research shows these antioxidants have a significant role in combating oxidative stress, lowering the risk of heart diseases, and promoting brain health. Imagine all these benefits in a tasty little berry!

Rosemary: Carnosic acid is the antioxidant hidden within the fragrant leaves of rosemary. A study shows this antioxidant aids in fighting off free radicals, thereby lowering the risk of strokes and neurodegenerative diseases.

Turmeric: The main antioxidant in turmeric is curcumin, which has potent anti-inflammatory properties and is a strong antioxidant. The International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology posits that curcumin can improve brain function, fight Alzheimer’s and lower the risk of heart disease.

Hibiscus: The antioxidant present in the hibiscus plant is called anthocyanin, like that in blueberries. Research has shown these antioxidants reduce the risk of heart conditions, assist in weight management, and promote liver health. So, the next time you sip hibiscus tea, remember the wealth of antioxidants working for your well-being.

antioxidant hibiscus

Other Health Benefits

Whilst playing a mighty role as free radical scavengers, antioxidants also contribute to other health benefits. For instance, they help maximise the immune response, improve skin health, and reduce signs of ageing. They are also worth their weight in gold in decreasing inflammation and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

In Summary

In conclusion, antioxidants are the secret warriors within our food that help our bodies fight diseases and maintain overall health. Their prowess lies not just in neutralising free radicals but also in rendering multiple health benefits. Herbs and foods like green tea, blueberries, rosemary, and turmeric are treasure troves of these potent antioxidants. So, why not add these and other health-promoting foods to your diet? After all, we all want to live a healthy, vibrant, and disease-free life.

Many beauty products claim to have antioxidant effects, but what are antioxidants? This article will explain antioxidants and list herbs and foods rich in them.


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