Antioxidants are substances that prevent or delay cell damage. When you exercise or your body converts food into energy free radicals are released which cause oxidative stress in cells that leads to cell damage. There are several antioxidant systems within the body that help cope with the oxidative stress that results from regular metabolic processes.
Additionally, environmental components like cigarette smoke, alcohol, processed food, air pollution, and harmful radiation of sunlight exposes individual to free radicals. Antioxidants counter attack oxidative stress in certain medical condition like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Cataract and Age Related Macular Degeneration. Lack of antioxidants can result in ill consequences due to routine metabolic process of body.
Common antioxidants are Vitamin A, E, C, Beta Carotene, Lycopene, Lutein, and Selenium. Majority of antioxidants you get it from colorful fruits and vegetables. e.g. carrots, broccoli, papaya, bell peppers, green tea, cauliflower, spinach, tomato, watermelon, orange, amla, kale etc. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries are among the top fruit sources of antioxidants.
Consumption of antioxidants may vary from men to women depending upon factors like age, diet, weight, physical activity or any pre-existing disease condition. No need to take antioxidants supplements unless indicative of any specific medical condition under guidance of physician only.
Genetic deficiency of antioxidants in body can cause some medical complications. The damage caused by low antioxidants has been linked to cancer, atherosclerosis, and vision loss. It is thought that the free radicals cause changes in the cells that lead to these and possibly other conditions. Genetic testing or DNA testing can help you know predisposition and help in managing your dietary intake of antioxidants on daily basis.
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