What are oxidant and antioxidant, how do they work?
Oxidants are free radicals.The level of oxidant increases due to some factors that are listed below;
- Heavy exercises
- Microbial infections,
- Chronic inflammation
- High oxygen levels
- Air pollution
- Being imposed to radiation
- Being imposed to several medications and toxicants
What are the harmful effects of oxidation?
Toxins are eliminated from the body by the intestine, kidneys, sweat glands and lungs. If they are not eliminated, they stick into the cell membranes. They have a negative effect on body when they stick into the cells. Sometimes, they can even ruin the DNAs of cells and lead them to become carcinogenic. Oxidation might also increase the cancer risk and harms the immune system which prevents the cancer cells to spread and multiply.
When the oxidation number increases, it starts to damage the immune system. A weakened immune system affects the body resistance in a negative way. Oxidized fat causes arteriosclerosis.They make the immune system and the organs age fast due to their chemical processes. So, it can be said that oxidation and aging are in a close relationship with each other. The only cause of aging is not the oxidation but it is definitely one of the most important ones.
Each cell in our body has a genetic memory. Cells know ‘what to do, when to do or in what kind of a period they have to do’. These skills are transferred to the cells by their DNAs. The DNA is copied and transferred to the new cells during the cell division. If there is any problem in the process of copying, some health problems occur. Oxidants accumulating in body can harm the process of cloning and the DNA itself.
Why Are The Antioxidants Important?
Consuming nutrients which are rich in antioxidants helps us to remove harmful toxins out of our body. Many vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and flavonoids which can be found in fruits and vegetables meet our additional antioxidant requirement. These fruits, vegetables, herbs and some other nutrients reduce the harmful effects of oxidant and have positive effects on the process of cell cycle.
Antioxidants reduce the harmful effects of oxidants. Furthermore, they help the body to renew itself. Antioxidants benefit a human body more when they are taken from the nutrients rather than pills.
Benefits of Antioxidants
- Antioxidants strengthen the immune system.
- They reduce the effect of aging and increase body resistance.
- They strengthen the connective tissue.
- They reduce the risk of skin saggings.
- They make the skin look younger.
- They help to reduce the risk of heart diseases and are good for vein tissues.
- They improve the flexibility of joints.
- Antioxidants are vital for those who smoke and drink alcohol regularly.
- They help to increase blood flow.
- They help to get rid of varicose veins.
More About Antioxidants
- Experts claim that the production of antioxidants slows down at the age of 25 and over, so it is very important to consume more antioxidants for your health.
- Antioxidants are not only found in vegetables and fruits. They are also found in fish oil, milk and other dairy products. Moreover, they are found in the fishes which are rich in selenium.
- The antioxidant level decreases when fruits and vegetables are cooked, so it is better to steam them.
- There are approximately 20 different types of antioxidants in the grape skin and its seed.
- Lycopene helps the elderly people to maintain their physical and mental health, so it is recommended that elderly people should consume fruits and vegetables, especially organic tomatoes which are very rich in lycopene.
- Nutrients rich in antioxidants should be consumed at every meal. A person that consumes 2500 calories a day, needs 11000 millimoles of antioxidants. For a person that consumes 1800 calories, this amount goes down to 8000 millimoles of antioxidants.
- There are 64 times more antioxidants in the plants than animal products.
- There are a lot of antioxidants in herbs and spices as well. Especially in cinnamon, oregano, allspice, dried mint and clove contain a great deal of antioxidants.
- Antioxidant level increases during the exercise. If you want to get more benefits from the antioxidants, you should do exercises more often.
The Strongest Antioxidants And The Nutrients
- Lycopene: Found in tomato, watermelon, pink grapefruit and apricot. It has a good effect on large intestine, breast and prostate. It reduces the risk of cancer and protects from the sun.
- Tomato: Tomato helps us to prevent the inflammation. It fights with esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, bowel cancer, pancreatic cancer and lung cancer.
- Lutein: Found in carrot, spinach, tomato and pepper. It reduces the risk of eye and vision problems due to aging.
- Spinach: Spinach contains vitamin C, E and B. There are also magnesium, phosphor, and iodine found in the spinach.
- Broccoli: Broccoli protects the body from cold and lung diseases.
- Coenzyme Q10 : Found in trout, nuts, broccoli and spinach. It has a powerful anti-aging effect.
- Selenium: Found in potato, rice, goby fish, egg, sun flower seed and bread. It protects the cells and reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
- Iron: Found in beans, mussel and cornflakes.
Stinging Nettle: It speeds up the blood flow and strengthens the immune system. It protects the body from diabetes and cleanses the blood. It is very rich in vitamin A and C. It reduces the risk of cancer and renews the blood cells with the iron it contains. It can be used for cooking or you can brew it and drink like tea.
- Turmeric: Rich in iron.
- Copper: Found in lentil, soybean and green bean. It protects us from the effects of ultraviolet light.
- Catechin: It is found in tea and considered as a very strong antioxidant. It reduces the risk of heart and vein diseases.
- Quercetin: Found in apple, onion and many other summer vegetables.
Apple: Apple strengthens the immune system and at the same time protects the body from prostate and lung cancer. It reduces the risk of alzheimer. Even only an apple a day can protect us from lung cancer.
- Resveratrol and Anthocyanins: Found in grapes. They have positive effects on heart and vein diseases.
- Alpha Liphoic Acid: Found in low or non-fat red meat, also in fermented and whole-grain bread. It is also found in some other wheat products. It is very effective and good for body cells.
- Vitamin C: Found in citrus, parsley, green pepper, spinach, vine leaf, broccoli, strawberry, cranberry, cherry, blueberry, kiwi and in rose hips. It is not only good for cold but also for your skin to look young. It reduces the harmful effects of the sun and good for cracked skin and wrinkles.
- Blueberry: Blueberries are perfect for protecting the lungs and it is very rich in vitamin C.
- Ginger: Ginger cleanses the lungs with the help of a substance it contains called gingerol. It also helps to get rid of the toxins. Moreover, it cleans the respiratory passages. Ginger can be consumed as a tea, added into the juices and meals.
- Garlic: It removes the mucus from the lungs with the substance it contains called allicin. Moreover, garlic protects the body from cold and flu. It can be consumed as a tea as well.
- Vitamin E: Found in plant-based oils, tomato, sunflower seed, fish, meat, milk, green vegetables, vegetables with leaves, oily seeds, grains, legume, nuts, soybeans and wheat. It repairs the skin and helps it to renew itself. It is also good for the wrinkles around the eyes and hairs.
- Vitamin A: Found in apricot, carrot, tomato, orange, spinach, broccoli, peach and cabbage. Generally the vegetables which are green and yellow are rich in vitamin A. Besides, fish and milk also contain vitamin A.
- Flavonoids: Found in onion, leek, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, strawberry, apple, cherry, plum, grape and grape seed, red vine, citrus and green tea.
- Ginkgo biloba: It contains ginseng which protects the body from the harmful effects of radiation and weakens tumour cells.