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Antioxidant-rich foods for great health

Our bodies need a variety of chemicals and compounds to combat the wear and tear of everyday life. We rely especially on antioxidants to limit the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage cells in the body and speed up the process of aging. A build-up of free radicals has also been linked to serious health issues such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, stroke, immune deficiency, and heart disease, among others (1).

The power of antioxidant foods

Our bodies need a variety of chemicals and compounds to combat the wear and tear of everyday life. We rely especially on antioxidants to limit the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage cells in the body and speed up the process of aging. A build-up of free radicals has also been linked to serious health issues such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, stroke, immune deficiency, and heart disease, among others (1).

While your body does have its own stock of antioxidants, you need to incorporate antioxidant-rich foods into your diet for added protection against free radicals. Antioxidant foods include fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins A, C, and E. There are also other naturally-occurring antioxidants in foods, such as carotenoids, zinc and selenium. These are essential for our overall health, too.

What are antioxidant foods

Antioxidant foods are foods that are known to have antioxidant properties They contain different active components that neutralise free radicals. Turmeric, a powerful antioxidant, contains an active component called curcumin. Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial benefits for the body. It boosts your immune system by fighting free radicals and improves skin health.

While there is no shortage of antioxidant-rich foods out there, these foods need to be eaten in the right quantity for you to reap their benefits. For example, since turmeric is not used in large quantities in cooking, you are not likely to get the full benefits of the curcumin inside it. Instead, you can shift to taking antioxidant supplements to get a substantial dose of this antioxidant.

Setu’s Turme Rich capsules give you all the antioxidant benefits of curcumin without you having to eat bowlfuls of turmeric powder. Each capsule contains the necessary daily dose for your body, so you can reap all its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-bacterial benefits.

Another fun way to consume curcumin is through our fizzy Curcumin: Boost Fizz tablets. All you need to do is drop a tablet in a glass of water and your orange-flavoured, curcumin-enriched drink is ready to drink!

How do antioxidants work?

Free radicals are external particles that contain unpaired electrons and are hence, unstable. When these free radicals enter the human body, they steal electrons from cells in your body to stabilise themselves. But the loss of electrons leave the body’s cells permanently damaged. If free radicals accumulate in your body, they can even cause damage at the DNA level. Antioxidants work by giving up electrons to the free radicals, essentially neutralising them. This helps limit the damage caused to the body’s cells and also prevents any future damage.

List of antioxidant foods

There are many different types of antioxidant rich foods that you can consider adding to your diet. But it is important to note here that while meats, nuts, spices, dairy, etc. are foods high in antioxidants, the highest concentration of antioxidants can be found in colourful fruits and veggies (2). So, ensure that you have a healthy mix of antioxidant fruits and vegetables in your everyday meals. Veggies and fruits also provide other vital nutrients and fibre to your body, and this aids in good digestion. Here is a breakdown of the different antioxidants that exist and the foods that are rich in them:

Vitamin C:

This water-soluble vitamin circulates through the blood, protecting cells and tissues from free radicals (3). Research suggests that Vitamin C also plays a protective role against cardiovascular disease, cancer and cirrhosis. You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits of course, but you will also find it in brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cauliflower, bell peppers, grapefruit, kiwi, mangoes, etc.

Vitamin E:

Unlike vitamin C, vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient with anti-inflammatory properties. It is found in seafood, green vegetables, seeds, nuts, avocados, mustard, pumpkin, spinach, sunflower seeds, and broccoli. As for its oxidative benefits, research suggests that vitamin E can help reduce sun damage to the skin, prevent breast cancer, and even slow down the progression of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease (4). It also has the potential to reduce the symptoms of fatty liver disease.

Carotenoids:

Carotenoids are fat-soluble natural pigments found in fruits and vegetables that have a red or yellow hue (5). The most common carotenoids in plants are beta-carotene and lycopene, commonly found in apricots, watermelon, corn, carrots, mangoes, grapefruit, peaches, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, tomatoes, tangerines, etc. Research suggests that carotenoids offer protective functions against cardiovascular, inflammatory, and neurodegenerative diseases. In animals, you can find the carotenoid astaxanthin in seafood items like shrimp and salmon.

You can also find antioxidants like zinc and selenium in foods such as red meat, poultry, beans, seafood, grains, and nuts.

FAQs

1) How can we recognise foods high in antioxidants?

Antioxidant-rich foods tend to be brightly coloured. Scientists, however, use many technical methods to check the antioxidant levels in different foods. One of the most common methods is the ferric reducing/antioxidant power (FRAP) assay, which is a simple, quick, sensitive, and inexpensive test to perform.

2) Are antioxidant supplements safe?

Everything should be consumed in moderation, and this rule applies to antioxidant supplements as well. Over consuming antioxidant supplements may interfere with your body’s natural signalling pathways and negatively impact your health. Always stick to the recommended dosage and consult your doctor before consuming any supplement.

3) Are Setu’s antioxidant supplements addictive?

No, our supplements aren\t addictive! Since they’re made of nature-based ingredients, like curcumin, black pepper extract and vitamin C, none of our antioxidant supplements are addictive, and are extremely safe for long-term use.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249911/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2841576/
  3. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408397909527264
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5751107/
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213453014000317#bib0205
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