Antioxidant supplements are very common these days and you are definitely spoilt for choice. But do you know what exactly are antioxidants and how do they benefit your body?
To understand antioxidants, we must first know about free radicals. Free radicals are formed during normal bodily processes, such as eating, breathing and exercising, or when we’re exposed to toxins like pollution or cigarette smoke. Free radicals can damage cells in the body by changing their DNA or altering the membrane of cells. This interaction between free radicals and the body is called oxidative stress, which is often thought to be the contributing factor of increased risk of developing chronic diseases.
Antioxidants are naturally-occurring chemicals in foods that can serve as a defense against free radicals. They help by neutralizing the free radicals, thus decreasing the oxidative stress that might harm our cells. Antioxidants are found in certain foods and vitamins. Common antioxidants include:
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that is vital for good vision (preventing the occurrence of dry eye and night blindness), helps maintain a healthy immune system, strong teeth and healthy skin. Good sources of Vitamin A include dairy products, liver, sweet potato and carrot.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is another powerful antioxidant that is important for immune system function and helps fight and scavenge free radicals. It is also beneficial for bone growth and repair as well as wound healing. Good sources of Vitamin C are citrus foods, such as orange and grapefruit, bell pepper, strawberry, and broccoli.
3. Vitamin E
Vitamin E has a strong antioxidant effect, helps to scavenge free radicals, prevents aging as well as enhances immunity and anti-coagulation. Good sources of Vitamin E include vegetable oils (olive, sunflower, canola), eggs, nuts, and green leafy vegetables.
Lutein also qualifies as a powerful antioxidant and many studies support its favorable effects on eye health. It may be effective in reducing the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Good sources of lutein are spinach, kale, corn, and squash.
Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that quickly converts to vitamin A (retinol) in our body. Our body needs vitamin A for healthy skin and mucus membranes, strong immune system and good vision and eye health. Good sources of Beta-carotene are carrot, sweet potato, winter squash, spinach, kale, cantaloupe, and apricot.
Lycopene has a high antioxidant capacity, and its antioxidant effect is twice that of beta-carotene. It helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases, enhance immunity and protect the prostate, pancreas and large intestine. Good sources of Lycopene are red colored fruits and vegetables such as tomato and watermelon.
You may like to consider:
LABO Nutrition Super OPCs
LABO Nutrition Super OPCs is a high strength antioxidant formula that is power-packed with 3 premium French OPCs (150mg per serving of French Maritime Pine Bark, French Grape Seed and French Red Wine Extracts) and further infused with Bilberry, Citrus Bioflavonoids and Vitamin C. This supplement provides high antioxidant protection and has been proven to support healthy heart, blood pressure and circulation, fair and firm skin, immune health and a wide spectrum of other benefits. Super OPCs is developed with a superior isotonic delivery system for maximum cellular absorption, it is absorbed by the body within 5 minutes for immediate utilization. And it is 50 times more powerful than vitamin E and 20 times more effective than vitamin C in neutralizing free radicals.