The Top 7 Antioxidant Advantages for Heart disease reduces free radical damage, delays aging, and guards against diabetes.
1. Slow the Effects of Aging by Reducing Free Radical Damage
As described above, the single most important benefit of antioxidants is counteracting free radicals found inside every human body, which are very destructive to things like tissue and cells. Free radicals are responsible for contributing to many health issues and have connections to such diseases as cancer and premature aging of the skin or eyes.
What do free radicals do exactly, and why are they so destructive?
The body uses antioxidants to prevent itself from the damage caused by oxygen. Electrons exist in pairs; free radicals are missing an electron.
This is their weapon of sorts. They “react” with just about anything they come into contact with, robbing cells and compounds of one of their electrons.
This makes the effected cell or compound unable to function and turns some cells into “electron-seeking muggers,” leading to a chain reaction in the body and the proliferation of free radicals. Free radicals then damage DNA, cellular membranes and enzymes.
2. Protect Vision and Eye Health
It has been demonstrated that the antioxidant vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene all help to reduce the symptoms of macular degeneration and age-related vision loss or blindness. The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, sometimes known as the “eye vitamins,” are abundant in many of the foods that give these nutrients. They are found in vividly colored fruits and vegetables, particularly leafy greens and varieties that are deep orange or yellow.
It is thought that these antioxidants are easily carried throughout the body, especially to the fragile macula and lens of the eyes. In reality, nature contains around 600 different varieties of carotenoids, but only roughly 20 of them enter the eyes.
Only two of those 20, lutein and zeaxanthin, are heavily concentrated in the macular region of the eye, which is one of the first to experience aging-related damage.
Spinach, kale, berries, broccoli, and even egg yolks are examples of antioxidant foods that protect vision based on concentrations of substances like lutein and other carotenoids. Spinach and other foods high in lutein have been shown in studies to help reduce eye-related degeneration and enhance visual acuity.
Similar to resveratrol, flavonoid antioxidants in berries like grapes and bilberries, which are also excellent sources of the antioxidant, may help maintain vision into old age.
3. Reduce the Effects of Aging on the Skin
Free radicals accelerate aging in a number of ways, with skin health and appearance being the most obvious. Antioxidants for skin may help prevent this harm, particularly if you consume sources of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and other antioxidants regularly.
Skin dryness and wrinkle appearance have both been linked to vitamins A and C. In particular, vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can aid in lowering the impact of oxidative damage brought on by pollution, stress, or a poor diet.
Additionally connected to vitamin A insufficiency include skin dryness, scaling, and follicular thickness. Keratinization of the skin, which occurs when the epithelial cells lose their moisture and harden and dry, damages the surface skin cells similarly to how free radicals harm them.
4. Help Prevent Stroke and Heart Disease
Since antioxidants help prevent damage of tissues and cells caused by free radicals, they’re needed to protect against heart disease and stroke. At this point, the data does not show that all antioxidants are effective in protecting against heart disease, but some, such as vitamin C, do seem to be.
Fruits and vegetables are dietary sources of natural antioxidants and it is generally accepted that antioxidants in these foods are key in explaining the inverse association between fruits and vegetables intake and the risk of developing a cardiovascular event or having elevated levels of cardiovascular risk factors.
However, because of the increased risk of heart-related mortality, some studies have found that taking vitamin E or beta-carotene supplements should be “actively discouraged” when it comes to heart health. As a result, use caution when taking vitamin E or carotene supplements.
5. May Help Reduce Risk of Cancer
Some studies have found a possible link between antioxidants and cancer. In fact, studies have shown that high intakes of vitamin A, vitamin C, and other antioxidants may help prevent or treat a variety of cancers because they can control the body’s malignant cells and cause cell cycle arrest and apoptosis (the death of cancer cells), which can be a precursor to other diseases.
One substance that is crucial for both cancer treatment and cell formation and differentiation is retinoic acid, which is generated from vitamin A.
Retinoic acid has been shown to inhibit the development of oral, bladder, breast, ovarian, lung, and skin cancers. The results of retinoic acid in preventing melanoma, hepatoma, lung cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer have been supported by numerous studies, according to a separate study that gathered these references.
However, there’s evidence indicating that the benefits of chemicals like retinoic acid are safest when obtained from food naturally, rather than supplements.
6. Can Help Prevent Cognitive Decline
Oxidative stress is believed to play a central role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, but a nutrient-dense diet seems to lower one’s risk. The Journal of the American Medical Association of Neurology reports that higher intake of foods rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin E, may modestly reduce long-term risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
7. May Protect Against Diabetes
Antioxidants may help prevent type 2 diabetes in addition to enhancing heart health and cognitive function, according to some study. One animal study from Japan, for instance, demonstrated that giving antioxidants to mice helped maintain the function of the beta cells in the pancreas, which are in charge of producing insulin.
Vitamin C was successful in lowering levels of oxidative stress, whereas vitamin E was useful in lowering blood sugar levels, according to another sizable assessment of 12 trials.