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We hear a lot about the role of antioxidants in enriching our overall health, and rightfully so. Antioxidants are associated with maintaining heart health, improving skin and hair, and boosting immunity.
They are present in many food items, and as per a research published by Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health, higher intakes of antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, and legumes, are associated with a lower risk of chronic oxidative stress-related diseases of the cardiovascular system.
Suffice to say then that a diet rich in antioxidants will provide a wide range of benefits, including keeping your heart healthy. These foods include blueberries, beans, beetroots, spinach, broccoli, and dark chocolate!
1. Fights free radical damage
Inflammatory conditions such as excessive sunlight, and stressful factors like work related deadlines can damage our cells. The said inflammation and stress cause oxidation in the body that develop free radicals, which are essentially harmful molecules that feed on our cells, mutating and damaging them while they are feasting. This oxidative stress could cause not only heart ailments but also cancers, arthritis and adult respiratory diseases.
While you can’t exactly get rid of free radicals, you can slow down their activity with the help of antioxidants. Antioxidants can help us ward off ailments caused by free radicals as they work to protect the cells from the damage caused by the oxidation process.
2. Boosts immunity and overall health
As per research by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, since the immune system is an indicator of health and a longevity predictor, the protection of this system afforded by dietary antioxidant supplementation may play an important role in order to achieve healthy ageing. The ability of antioxidants to protect against free radicals and maintain the structural integrity of cells and tissues helps boost overall immunity levels and hence, ensure that your heart stays healthy.
Antioxidants such as beta-carotene help protect against heart disease, cancer, respiratory, arthritis and diabetes. What’s more, antioxidants like vitamin C are beneficial for improving vision, hair, and skin health.
3. Reduces inflammation
Antioxidants, especially flavonoids are critical for reducing inflammation in the body. A study published in the journal Antioxidants revealed that eating berries could significantly reduce inflammation. The said study highlighted how berries contain flavonoids and anthocyanins, a class of antioxidants, that provide anti-inflammatory effects. Foods such as oats contain butyrate, an antioxidant that reduces inflammation in the body and decreases bloating of the stomach as well.
Even dark chocolate is helpful for reducing inflammation, as found by a study conducted by the Louisiana State University. Antioxidant-rich foods can ensure inflammation levels in the body don’t rise, thereby ensuring that all organ systems, including the heart, stay healthy.
So, ladies, give your overall health the boost it deserves, by adding antioxidant-rich foods to your diet.