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Understanding Antioxidants: An Overview

Chitrangada loves to share her Knowledge about health and nutrition tips, which she has researched, tried and tested herself with experience

What are antioxidants, and why they are essential for our health?

What are antioxidants, and why they are essential for our health?

Almonds, walnuts and nuts in general are rich sources of antioxidants

Almonds, walnuts and nuts in general are rich sources of antioxidants

What are antioxidants?

What are antioxidants?

You can’t take good health for granted.

--Jack Osbourne

What are the Antioxidants? Why do we need them in our daily diet?

We often hear nutritionists, and healthcare professionals, advising us to include Antioxidants in our daily diet.

What are the Antioxidants and why are they important for our health?

  • Antioxidant are those nutrients, which protect our body tissues from wear and tear.
  • They provide internal protection to our body cells and helps in rejuvenating them.
  • They are important for our general health. And the best way to take them is, in their natural form.
  • Taking Antioxidants, in their natural form makes digestion, and absorption easier.
  • Taking supplements, for the deficiency of antioxidants, may lead to certain side effects.
  • Our body cells and tissues face innumerable threats every day, in the form of infections, wear and tear, lack of nutritious foods, chemicals, viruses and many more.
  • They can damage our cells, but our body has its own defence mechanism.
  • These defenders of our body system are roughly grouped as Antioxidants.

What are the free radicals, and what is their connection with the antioxidants?

  1. As part of the normal body functions, free radical production occurs continuously in each and every cell of our body. But when excess free radical production originates due to internal, or external sources, they might cause diseases.
  2. Antioxidants play a major function in neutralizing and preventing free radical induced damage to our cells and tissue.
  3. They prevent formation of radicals by the process of decomposition or scavenge them.
  4. We need antioxidant regularly, and what better way than to take them naturally, and avoid supplements.

What are antioxidants and free radicals, and how do they work? Source: YouTube

Antioxidant Rich Food: Blueberries

Antioxidant Rich Food: Blueberries

How to include the Antioxidants in our daily diet, in order to avoid deficiency diseases?

The Mother Nature has provided many fruits and vegetables, which can supplement our daily requirement of antioxidants. It’s important to include them in our regular diet, as per our taste, and the changing seasons.

Let’s further understand, how the antioxidants are grouped—

1. Vitamin C:

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which protects our skin from the harmful effects of Sun rays. It can be found in, Green vegetables, Oranges, lemon, and other citrus fruits, gooseberries, strawberries, grapes, black currants and others.

2. Vitamin E :

Vitamin E is another antioxidant, which not only protects the skin from harsh Sun rays but also maintains it’s texture.
Wheat germ, sunflower seeds, and its oil, sweet potatoes, avocados, spinach are some of the rich sources of Vitamin E.

3. Omega 3 fatty acids :

Omega 3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties. They protect our cells both internally, as well as externally, in case there is inflammation.
Salmon, Tuna and other fishes are rich sources of this antioxidants.

4. Zinc :

To repair and rejuvenate, Zinc is an important antioxidant. Especially for those who suffer from acne, and other skin problems.
Seafood, such as lobster, crab, oyester, chicken and fish for non vegetarians.
For vegetarians, almonds, peanuts, kidney beans are the good sources of Zinc.

5. Vitamin A :

Green leafy vegetables, yellow fruits, and vegetables, pumpkin, papaya are helpful to supplement the requirements of Vitamin A in our body.
Vitamin A is important for repairing the cells, especially for hair, skin, and eyes.

6. Vitamin B Complex :

Vitamin B Complex is essential to include in our regular diet, to maintain general health, and immunity.
Whole grains, nuts, yellow fruits, bananas, garlic, onion, green tea are some of the foods, that fulfil the requirements of Vitamin B Complex in our body.

Fruits like cherries are good sources of antioxidants

Fruits like cherries are good sources of antioxidants

I believe, that the greatest gift, you can give to your family, is a healthy you.

—Joyce Meyer

Top 10 Antioxidants rich foods, Source: YouTube

List of some easily available Antioxidants rich food:

List of easily available antioxidant-rich food.

  • Berries—Blueberries, Cranberries, Gooseberries, Strawberries etc.
  • Artichokes,
  • Parsley, mint, coriander leaves,
  • Dark chocolates,
  • Oregano,
  • Turmeric,
  • Cloves,
  • Cinnamon,
  • Cumin seeds,
  • Thyme,
  • Basil,
  • Ginger,
  • Garlic,
  • Onion, spring onion,
  • Flaxseed,
  • Hempseed,
  • Sunflower seeds,
  • Pumpkin seeds,
  • Avocado,
  • Broccoli,
  • Walnuts, Raisins, Almonds and other nuts,
  • Beans of all varieties, especially kidney beans,
  • Lime/ lemon.


Besides this list of common antioxidant-rich food, there are many others. It may be possible, that some of these foods are not available at a particular place or region. There are always alternatives to choose from.

Spices are rich sources of antioxidants

Spices are rich sources of antioxidants

Onion, garlic, ginger are must haves, for the daily requirements of antioxidants in our body

Onion, garlic, ginger are must haves, for the daily requirements of antioxidants in our body

Symptoms of an antioxidant deficiency

  • Poor memory
  • Fatigue
  • Change in skin texture
  • Change in hair texture
  • Poor digestion
  • Wrinkles
  • Delayed or impaired healing(of wounds)
  • As we age, the body needs more, since it makes fewer antioxidants.
  • Those who have tobacco, or alcohol addiction, are at a higher risk.

Lack of antioxidants can cause serious illnesses, such as heart-related diseases, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Arthritis and many more.


Who doesn’t love dark chocolates? They are rich source of antioxidants

Who doesn’t love dark chocolates? They are rich source of antioxidants

Caution: Avoid Overdose

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA):

The RDA or Recommended Dietary Allowance (of antioxidants) varies, from person to person, and according to age, and gender.

It’s a good practice to discuss it with your nutritionist and follow the advice. One should track the food, they are eating, by maintaining a diary.

Nowadays you can track it on your smartphone as well, by logging into various apps that calculate the calories and other details for you.

For example—

HealthifyMe,

MyFitnessPal

You can download them from the Google Play Store.

Doctors and nutritionists believe that if you are taking a balanced diet, it’s not necessary to take supplements.

Too much of everything is bad for health. As such, consuming too much antioxidants, as supplements may harm your health, rather than doing any good.
It’s always wise to consult your doctors, before taking antioxidants artificial supplements.

Moreover, if your dietary requirements are fulfilled by taking natural foods, What’s the need to take supplements.

References: For more information—


1. What are Antioxidants? By NCCIH

https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-are-Antioxidants.aspx

2. Why Antioxidants are considered Superfoods: By WebMD

https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/10-super-foods#1

3. How much antioxidants in a day(RDA) :By Livestrong.com

https://www.livestrong.com/article/543884-how-much-antioxidants-in-a-day/


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Chitrangada Sharan

Comments

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on November 09, 2018:

Thank you so much DreamerMeg, for your kind visit and appreciation of the article. Glad you found it useful.

Have a good day!

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on November 08, 2018:

Interesting article, it's always useful to remind ourselves of what we should be eating to stay healthy.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on July 17, 2018:

Thank you Syed Aabis, for reading and commenting!

Syed Aabis from Pakistan on July 17, 2018:

Very informative

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on July 08, 2018:

Hi Cynthia!

Thanks for reading and commenting on this article.

The blueberries displayed in the first picture, are the ones we get here. This is my personal photo and there is no editing.

I understand that the colour and form may vary from region to region, or from one country to another.

While I was searching for pictures of blueberries, I did find different shades of blue/ violet in the free images.

Your information about different varieties of blueberries, with their botanical names is appreciable.

Thank you so much for your insightful feedback!

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on July 08, 2018:

This is a great informative hub... do you know the actual kind of blueberries that you are displaying in the header photo? They are much darker and plumper than the blueberries we grow here on Vancouver Island. The wild blueberries varieties in British Columbia are Velvetleaf blueberry (Vaccinium myrtilloides), Dwarf blueberry (Vaccinium caespitosum), Bog blueberry (Vaccinium uliginosum), Oval-leaf blueberry (Vaccinium ovalifolium) and Alaska blueberry (Vaccinium alaskaense). Not trying to put you on the spot, dear, just curious. Thank you!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on July 03, 2018:

I agree with you Ana Maria Orantes, that it’s a pleasure to write and share whatever you know with others. If they get some benefits from this, it is satisfying indeed.

Thank you for reading and appreciating!

Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on July 02, 2018:

You’re welcome. I like your article. I am looking forward reading your next hubs. It is a joy when we let other people see the good news. It is a pleasure and rewarding career being a writer. Thanks.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on June 29, 2018:

Thank You Devika, for appreciating the article! Glad you found it useful.

DDE on June 29, 2018:

I like the list of healthy foods and a must have indeed!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on June 24, 2018:

Thank you Darlene Goetz, for your kind visit and appreciation of the article. Pleased to know that you liked the information. That’s the whole purpose of writing this, to share my knowledge and experience for other’s benefits.

Thank You so much for your positive feedback!

Take care and good day!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on June 24, 2018:

Thank you John Ray Cuevas, for reading and commenting on this article!

I am glad you found the information useful.

Lemon is a must have for me too, every morning. Hope you try other fruits and vegetables from the list.

Thanks and take care!

Darlene Goetz on June 23, 2018:

I was particularly interested to know that spices are rich antioxidants too!! Loved how you later out the information and especially liked your info on not OVER doing it with supplements as they can be harmful! I never would of guessed you could over indulge in this area. I look forward to future posts

Ray from Philippines on June 23, 2018:

My favorite antioxidant is lemon. I drink lemon with water every morning. Thank you for the info, Ma'am. Gotta try other fruits and vegetables that act as antioxidant.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on June 22, 2018:

Thank you MarleneB, for reading and appreciating the article! Glad you found it informative and helpful.

Always a pleasure to hear from you. Thank You!

Marlene Bertrand from USA on June 22, 2018:

I really enjoyed reading your article about antioxidants. It is rich with helpful information from various sources.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on June 22, 2018:

Thank You Ana Maria Orantes, for your appreciation of the article!

I am glad that this information is helpful to you. Over the years, while bringing up my children and looking after the elderly people in my home, I have read and applied lot of these healthy tips and they are really good. Sharing what I know, with others, gives me great satisfaction.

Good to know that you are taking care of your diet and health in general.

Thanks for your kind visit and positive thoughts.

Have a great day!

Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on June 22, 2018:

Good morning miss Sharam. It is a beautiful hub. I like your knowledge of the vegetables and fruits. I like it how you took your time and explain which is the content of each fruit and vegetables. Thank you for your concern about general health. I am greatful to you. Your article gives me a piece of mind. I am doing a good diet with the food . I eat. I wish you a wonderful day.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on June 22, 2018:

Thank You Michelle, for your kind visit and comments!

Appreciate your positive feedback!

Michelle Liew from Singapore on June 21, 2018:

Thanks for this hub! We know about antioxidants, but not much about how to use them effectively,

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on June 21, 2018:

Thank You Audrey, for your kind words of appreciation!

I feel humbled and happy that it helped you to understand the role of antioxidants in our body.

Yes, sometimes we take supplements, which may not be necessary for us. Always good to take the experts advice.

As I am getting older, I find myself focusing more on what I eat, and what my family eats.

Thanks for your positive feedback and support. Always a pleasure to read your thoughts.

A very good day to you and take care!

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on June 20, 2018:

I feel like you have personally guided me with this informative and very well-written article. One thing I didn't know, is that we can overload on antioxidants and actually do harm to our bodies. My diet includes 2 very large green salads each day. I also take supplements. Maybe I don't need them. I broke out with cold sores in my mouth from to much vitamin C.

Thank you for what I feel is the best article on the internet about antioxidants.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on June 20, 2018:

Thank You Peggy for your positive feedback! Good to know that you and your husband are taking good care of your health.

Appreciate you for reading and commenting!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 20, 2018:

This is an excellent article! My husband and I consume what I consider to be a good diet and we incorporate many of the foods you listed on a regular basis.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on June 19, 2018:

Thank you MsDora, for reading and appreciating!

I tried to write this in a simple language, so that everyone can gain from the general information. I am glad you found it useful.

Thank You for your kind comments!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on June 19, 2018:

Thank You Linda, for reading and appreciating the article!

You are an expert in writing health articles. Feels good to get appreciations from you.

Thank You so much!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on June 19, 2018:

Thank You Ericdierker, for reading and commenting.

I am sorry, if you knew about this a little late. I hope you are taking good care of your health, and eating right food, as suggested by your nutritionist.

Wishing you good health and happy life always.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on June 19, 2018:

Thank You Billybuc, for reading and commenting on this article!

Good to know, you are eating right. Have a good day!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on June 19, 2018:

Thank you Louise Powles, for stopping by! Appreciate your positive comments.

Take care!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on June 19, 2018:

Thank You Manatita, for reading and commenting on this article! Good to know that you take good care of your health.

There are some options, which are not expansive. For example, spices. You can include them in your regular diet.

Appreciate your positive feedback. Thank You.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 19, 2018:

Thank you for explaining antioxidants and free radicals. You did a comprehensive job here. I hae to come back and really study the lists.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 19, 2018:

You've listed some very healthy foods, Chitrangada. Thank you for reminding us of the importance of nutrition.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 19, 2018:

I am a little upset you wrote this so late. However it is an affirmation of my oncology nutritionist. We wonder if the mode reduces or reverses active cells that are compromised.

Who cares? Is what we say. The food is worth it. Yummy in my tummy is what my boy and I say.

This bad boy is bookmarked

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 19, 2018:

According to that list of foods, I'm doing all right. Great article..packed with very good information. Thank you!

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on June 19, 2018:

This was a very informative article to read, thankyou. Thankfully, I love all of these foods.

manatita44 from london on June 19, 2018:

A well written and very informative article, Chitrangada. I love anti-oxidants! In Kenya and busy but in London I use a lot!

Expensive but worth it.

Thank you for this wonderful hub on the right kind of nutrition for health.

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