Some substances are considered superheroes for our organism, with actual superpowers. This is the case with antioxidant agents!
Because they are so beneficial to health, we’ve talked about them a few times here on the blog, but because it’s something so essential to our body, the subject is always welcome again.
In addition to reinforcing what antioxidants are and their main benefits, this text will present proven reasons why they should not be left out of our lives.
Antioxidants: Who Are You?
Antioxidant agents are vitamins, minerals, and other chemicals that protect cells from harmful elements produced during their metabolism. These agents are the main substances that fight free radicals, which cause evils such as degenerative diseases, heart disease, strokes, cancer, and diseases related to aging.
Types of antioxidants are considered: vitamins A, C, and E, selenium, phenolic compounds, and carotenoids.
They are classified into two groups: enzymatic and non-enzymatic. Our bodies synthesize enzymatic antioxidants. Non-enzymatic ones are essentially ingested through various food sources, especially fruits, vegetables, and vegetables.
Now let’s get straight to the point! Discover five reasons we have listed to include antioxidants in your daily life and have a healthier and happier life.
1 – Combat Premature Aging
The long-awaited potion of eternal youth has yet to be discovered, but we already know that there are super-powerful substances that greatly help our body’s vitality. Antioxidant agents are an excellent example of this.
Free radicals are one of the leading causes of premature aging. This is because they can oxidize molecules in our body, causing the destruction and aging of our cells.
Among the active principles against premature aging, antioxidants stand out, such as vitamins, plant extracts, and some acids responsible for minimizing the effects of aging precisely by inhibiting the action of free radicals.
2 – Prevention Of Cardiovascular Diseases
Damage caused by free radicals with induced oxidation in cells and tissues has been linked to the onset of heart disease.
Studies have demonstrated the relationship between consuming vegetables and fruits and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
One of the reasons that antioxidants are allies in preventing cardiovascular diseases is the performance of selenium in our bodies. Selenium is an essential mineral that we need to consume in small amounts, without which we cannot survive. He is responsible for producing antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione peroxidase. Some studies have already published low link levels of glutathione peroxidase with increased cardiovascular risks in cases of atherosclerosis and problems in the coronary arteries.
3 – Cancer Prevention
The excess production of free radicals can cause a lot of damage and cell death, as well as the risk of developing diseases such as cancer.
Vitamin E, which, as we said, is a type of antioxidant, is found in large amounts in lipids (organic molecules that are important for living beings). Recent evidence suggests that this vitamin prevents or minimizes the damage caused by free radicals associated with diseases. Carcinogenic.
Although very beneficial, it is essential to emphasize that we are discussing prevention and not cure here. Research has proven that maintaining good levels of antioxidants in the body helps reduce the risk of aging-related problems, such as tumors. In this line of study, foods such as broccoli and the cabbage family appear since these foods contain bioactive substances such as sulforaphane. This molecule acts by defending cells against toxins and neutralizes agents capable of generating DNA damage – a situation that paves the way for the onset of cancer.
4 – Improves Sun Protection
The Institute of Biomedical Sciences (ICB) at USP conducted a study that revealed that the use of antioxidants is capable of preventing the consequences of exposure to ultraviolet light (UVA) from the sun. Cells from patients with variant xeroderma pigmentosum (XP-V), a rare genetic disease, were studied. It was noted that UVA light causes damage to the cells’ repair capacity, which is prevented when they are treated with an antioxidant. The discovery opens the possibility of developing sunscreens to avoid lesions and skin cancer.
With this research, it was discovered that antioxidants work as a prevention method. When cells are treated with an antioxidant before irradiation, they are better prepared to face the oxidation that occurs during exposure. This way, the proteins responsible for the repair are not oxidized, and the cells suffer less damage.
5 – Strengthens Immunity
We know that a robust immune system is synonymous with a healthier life. Among the antioxidants that help boost the immune system, we have carotenoids, which are plant compounds such as beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene, which give fruits and vegetables their yellow, red, and orange color.
They help strengthen the body’s immunity; the more substantial the color, the higher the nutrient concentration. Among the sources of carotenoids, we can mention fruits such as passion fruit and mango, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, and apricots.