What Are Free Radicals and Why You Need Antioxidants?

Hey Viewers, Welcome back to our channel.
You must be aware that your body is in a constant battle everyday against threats like infection,
diseases, and the formation of free radicals. Viruses and infections attack while free radicals
cause damage to your cells and DNA. Some cells can heal from the damage, while others cannot.
Free radicals can also contribute to the aging process and also play a part in diseases,
like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. However, there’s a secret weapon that can
help you fight against these things, Yes it is none other than antioxidants! In today’s
video, we’ll tell you all about Antioxidants, what they really are, and how they are good
for your body. Keep watching to find out more! What exactly are antioxidants? In order to understand what an antioxidant
is, we must remember some basics from science class. Atoms are made up of protons, electrons,
and neutrons. Molecules are made of two or more atoms. In order for a molecule to remain
stable, it must contain the right number of electrons; otherwise it will turn into a “free
radical.” Free radicals are dangerous molecules which
attack good molecules that promote essential body functions. These “pro-oxidants” are
produced by internal and external exposures. Antioxidants combat these free radicals that
cause various diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Free radicals are a natural
part of human metabolism, but problems happen when the balance of free radicals and antioxidants
is thrown off. This imbalance is called oxidative stress. are considered free radical scavengers. Exposure
to air pollution, heavy metals, and cigarette smoke can cause free radical damage, increasing
the risk of autoimmune diseases, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s,
and cancer. The use of the term “antioxidant” to refer
to substances is rather misleading. It’s really a chemical property, namely, the ability
to act as an electron donor. Some substances that act as antioxidants in one situation
may be pro-oxidants or electron grabbers in a different situation. What are the different types of Antioxidants? There are three primary types of antioxidants
found in nature. These include phytochemicals, vitamins, and enzymes. Antioxidant Enzymes Enzymes are types of antioxidants that come
from the proteins and minerals you eat as part of your daily diet. In order for antioxidant
enzymes to provide optimum antioxidant activity, they require cofactors such as iron, copper,
selenium, magnesium, and zinc. The quality of the protein source also has an impact on
the quality of the antioxidant enzymes. Antioxidant Vitamins Your body does not produce antioxidant vitamins
naturally, so it is essential to include dietary sources of them in your daily intake of food.
Common antioxidant vitamins include vitamin A, C, E, folic acid, and beta-carotene. Vitamin A is particularly important for improving
the immune system, eye health, tissue repair, and cholesterol levels. Vitamin C helps to protect your skin from
UV damage, promotes better iron absorption, provides greater resistance to infections,
and helps to regulate blood cholesterol. Vitamin E is important for maintaining healthy
blood vessels, improving skin conditions, and protecting your body’s membrane. Meanwhile, folic acid is important to women
of childbearing years, particularly in preventing the development of neural tube defects in
the fetus. Beta-carotene is also a powerful carotenoid,
which is a type of phytochemical, that is considered to offer the best protection against
free radicals. This vitamin is most commonly found in orange-colored vegetables like carrots,
pumpkins, and sweet potatoes, and dark green vegetables like spinach, kale, and collards. Antioxidant Phytochemicals Phytochemicals are the antioxidants that are
naturally used by plants to protect themselves against free radicals . Studies show that
humans who eat sources of phytochemicals also benefit from the antioxidant properties of
the plant. Phytochemicals are broken down in four categories which are Carotenoids ,Flavonoids,
Allyl sulfide and Polyphenols Most natural whole foods, such as whole grains,
fruits, and vegetables, contain phytochemicals, whereas processed or refined foods contain
little to no phytochemicals. Sources of Antioxidants: You can get Antioxidants from many sources.
Some are naturally produced in your body and some naturally occur in foods that you eat.
You can also add natural or synthetic Antioxidants to foods that don’t normally contain them,
either for their health value or to preserve the food from oxidation. A healthy diet is the most effective way to
get the antioxidants your body needs. Fruits, vegetables, green tea, grains, eggs and nuts
are all useful sources of antioxidants. Despite the marketing hype, antioxidants found in
so-called superfoods are no more effective than those in regular fruit and vegetables,
so you’re better off saving your money. But it’s a different story when it comes
to antioxidant supplements. Research has found antioxidant supplements may cause more harm
than good. A trial had found that antioxidant supplements are ineffective or even detrimental
to health. The reasons are unclear, but the added nutritional benefits from consuming
antioxidants in a healthy diet is likely to contribute to this. Also, the high concentrations
of antioxidants associated with supplement use can lead to problems. Antioxidant Health Benefits: Now that we have told you all about antioxidants,
it is time we talk about their tremendous health benefits. Boosts Heart Health: Antioxidants like vitamin
C, E, selenium, copper, and zinc have powerful cardioprotective activity. It’s been found
that adequate vitamin C intake can cut the risk of stroke by as much as 50 percent. There are hundreds of other studies that state
that intake of plant-based diets loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables can protect the
heart and prevent cardiovascular issues. Fruits and veggies are loaded with antioxidants,
and this proves the point. Improves Brain Health: Antioxidants have been
found to improve memory and cut the risk of dementia. Antioxidant vitamins and minerals
such as vitamin C and E, selenium, and zinc have been shown to function as natural antidepressants Antioxidants also work as mediators in your
central nervous system, thereby preventing inflammation and boosting cognitive health.
Most brain diseases are associated with oxidative damage or oxidative stress, which can be prevented
and often improved with a higher intake of antioxidants. Greater consumption of carotenoids which is
another branch of antioxidants from foods such as sweet potatoes, yams, and carrots
has been linked to cognitive benefits in adults. Increases Immunity: Free radicals are naturally
formed by the body during exercise and through various energy processes in the body. At the
same time, your body releases enzymes to keep these free radicals under control. Many antioxidants work by quenching free radicals’
need for an extra electron, thereby neutralizing these potentially harmful particles. So, by
eating antioxidant-rich food, you add an extra layer of protection to your body’s natural
defenses, helping to ensure that the usual enzyme defenses don’t get overwhelmed. Good For Your Skin: Antioxidants, such as
alpha lipoic acid produce valuable anti-inflammatory results by increasing circulation and cell
metabolism. Reducing inflammation promotes more even skin tone and helps keep acne and
wrinkles at bay. Your skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays from
the sun throughout the day. This produces free radicals and reactive oxygen species
that cause damage to cells as well as skin tissues. This can make your skin appear tough
and wrinkly. Antioxidants that stimulate blood flow in your skin can help encourage the growth
of new cells and make sun-damaged skin appear younger. Improves Your Eyesight: High dose antioxidant
vitamins can prevent the progression and even reverse age-related macular degeneration and
other vision issues. Studies have shown that antioxidant supplements like vitamins C and
E can reduce cataract progression in less than three years. Other important antioxidants for vision health
are lutein and zeaxanthin, which can also prevent age related macular degeneration.
And then, we have vitamin A, which nourishes and protects your retina and other eye structures,
and is important in preventing night blindness. Limits Outward signs of Aging: By neutralizing
free radicals, antioxidants may help limit not just the internal deterioration caused
by aging, but also the outward physical effects. Some studies have shown that antioxidants
may reduce the signs of aging by minimizing wrinkles, preserving the texture of the skin,
and even reducing your susceptibility to sun damage. Helps Prevent Cancer: Antioxidants prevent
free radical damage, which has been found to cause cancer. Studies have shown that even
dietary antioxidant supplements can aid cancer treatment , given their ability to fight oxidative
stress and inflammation. Another study states how total antioxidant
status can decline during cancer treatment meaning that antioxidant supplementation can
help the treatment process. Strengthens Your Hair: Antioxidant supplements
can improve your hair health and treat nutritional deficiencies that can compromise the health
of your hair. And since your hair is regularly exposed to
sunlight and pollution, it is constantly being bombarded with free-radicals. Antioxidants
can combat this, protecting your delicate hair follicles, and preventing hair fall caused
by oxidative stress. Is there anything as too much Antioxidants? Too much of anything is bad and the same goes
for antioxidants. There are a number of reasons why high concentrations of antioxidants may
be harmful. At high concentrations, antioxidants may act as pro-oxidants, increasing oxidation
and causing damage. They can also protect dangerous cells such as cancer cells as well
as healthy cells. In large amounts, they can also reduce the
health benefits of exercise and have unwanted side effects, such as nausea and headaches,
or even reach toxic levels. Are antioxidants a part of your daily diet?
What are your sources for it? Let us know in the comments section below!

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14 thoughts on “What Are Free Radicals and Why You Need Antioxidants?

  1. WATCH πŸŽ₯: 11 Surprising Foods That Cause Inflammation – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KarbMv4HxY&list=PL_fl96m7OLQWTg82q3ImUs2xVqdBNsjwL&index=22

  2. Are antioxidants a part of your daily diet? What are your sources for it? If you enjoyed this video, please give it a like and share it with your friends! πŸ™‚

  3. Wow Excellent video πŸ₯° this channel is really helpful when it comes to healthcare tips i am uploading simple health tips aswel on my channel everyone can check it out. 😁

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