What Are Some of the Best Health Benefits of Antioxidants?
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nicole Avena
Having a healthy immune system is a key to survival in today’s world.
Your immune system defends against bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other potential troublemakers. These may include molds, food allergens, and environmental toxins.
One of the best ways to protect yourself against such harmful agents is to increase your intake of antioxidants.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are compounds in foods that can help prevent or delay damage to cells. They donate electrons to free radicals, which helps neutralize them.
Free radicals can come from outside the body, but they’re also generated by our bodies.
Our cells use oxygen to make energy. In the process, some of the oxygen is converted into free radicals (“oxyradicals”). These must be tightly controlled, or they can destroy DNA, proteins, and other key cell components.
All our cells have antioxidant enzymes for this purpose. Our antioxidant enzyme system includes many different types of enzymes, but in order to neutralize oxyradicals and other free radicals, these enzymes must have iron, zinc, copper, selenium, or manganese built into their protein structure. These various minerals must come from our diet.
We get nutrient antioxidants from our foods – not just vitamins and minerals, but also from thousands of different types of flavonoids and other polyphenols. Foods such as berries, citrus fruits, other fruits, and vegetables provide substantial supplies of these healthy substances.
Antioxidants and Free Radicals
Many have questions about the relationship between antioxidants and free radicals. For optimal physical and physiological function over the long haul, it’s crucial that the body has sufficient antioxidant defense against free radical activity. When the body’s antioxidant defenses lose ground, a situation termed oxidative stress develops.
Our cells’ antioxidant nutrients and enzymes function to neutralize oxyradicals and other free radicals generated from them. But as the body ages, its ability to manage free radicals may decline. This reduction of antioxidant power has been linked to the weakening of brain, heart, immune, and other organ functions.
Benefits of Antioxidants
There are many benefits of eating antioxidant-rich foods. Maintaining this type of diet may:
- help reduce oxidative stress
- help eyes, including age-related vision loss
- help heart health
- help support healthy aging
- help prevent serious illness
- help physical and mental health
Having a healthy diet also may assist with weight management and overall positive mood and well-being.
Types of Antioxidants
There are several types of antioxidants and phytonutrients such as flavonoids, flavones, catechins, polyphenols, and phytoestrogens. Here are just a few of the potent antioxidants that can be found in BrainMD products.
3 Powerful Antioxidants That Can Help Protect Against Free Radicals
Cocoa flavanols are a family of flavonoids concentrated in the cocoa bean. They are abundant in cocoa powder that hasn’t been bleached or chemically processed. Cocoa flavanols have been thoroughly researched and found to promote healthy blood pressure and blood flow to the brain.
You’ll find generous amounts of cocoa flavanols in Brain in Love dark chocolate bars.
Ginkgo biloba has been a medicinal treasure for thousands of years, and a dietary supplement for over half a century. The leaves of the ginkgo tree yield several flavanols that, together with beneficial terpenes from the leaves, are made into a standardized dietary supplement ingredient. This powerful antioxidant is best known for its capacity to improve circulation and enhance memory and concentration.
Experience the benefits of standardized Ginkgo Biloba Extract in Brain & Memory Power Boost.
Green Tea Catechins
A staple in Asian cultures, green tea (Camellia sinensis) promotes blood vessel health and blood flow to the brain. The four main active catechins extracted from green tea leaves are potent antioxidants that can help reduce the production of free radicals in the body and help preserve healthy functioning of the brain and other organs.
Boost your body’s natural defenses with the green tea catechins in Focus & Energy.
Antioxidants in Foods
To increase your antioxidant protection, focus on getting these vital vitamins and minerals into your diet:
Beta-carotene – Colorful plant foods like apricots, beets, carrots, mangoes, peas, pumpkin
Lutein – Leafy green vegetables, oranges, papayas
Lycopene – Pink/red fruits and vegetables such as grapefruits and tomatoes
Selenium – Barley, beef, Brazil Nuts, brown rice, fish, poultry
Vitamin A – Dairy, eggs, and liver
Vitamin C – Bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, lemons, snow peas, strawberries
Vitamin E – Avocado, leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds, spinach
Foods with vibrant colors are often loaded with antioxidants. Certain foods high in antioxidants have been referred to as “superfoods.” These may include:
- Black and green teas
- Dark chocolate
- Goji berries
- Red grapes
Support Your Immunity
As we’ve seen, the benefits of antioxidants are numerous. Optimizing your daily intake of antioxidant-rich foods – by consuming fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods – can provide your body with the nutrients it needs to bolster your immune health.
To protect yourself against free radicals, and to help your system combat the harmful effects of bacteria, viruses, and other unwanted invaders, try these antioxidant-rich foods and supplements today!
At BrainMD, we’re dedicated to providing the highest purity nutrients to improve your physical health and overall well-being. For more information about our full list of brain healthy supplements, please visit us at BrainMD.
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