The mere mention of antioxidants gives the products a special value. Dietitians claim that their regular use helps to combat various signs of aging, prolonging youth and multiplying beauty. What is so useful antioxidants?
Oxygen is friend and enemy
The inevitable processes of destruction occurring in the environment can not do without oxygen and, from the scientific point of view, are called oxidation. Rotting leaves in the autumn park, rustling on the playground swings, crackling logs in the fire - all these are oxidation processes. Similar phenomena occur in our body. Their main actors are organic compounds, most often fats and carbohydrates. Penetrating into the cells of our body, they also oxidize, releasing the energy necessary for life. In fact, it is the same fire with logs.
But sometimes free radicals interfere in the smooth course of this process - by-products of metabolic processes. They are also formed through the fault of the person: due to malnutrition, bad habits, poor ecology, etc. Excessive amounts of free radicals lead to uncontrolled oxidation, destroy the integrity of cells and inhibit their functions. Destroyed cells become vulnerable to viruses, bacteria and malignant neoplasms. As a result, we often get sick, earning chronic ailments and cancer.
Antioxidants against free radicals
At this point, antioxidants appear on the scene, the mission of which is to stabilize free radicals and slow oxidative reactions. These brave elements act in two groups. Enzymes, a kind of cleaners, clean out the active compounds of oxygen, converting them into water and useful gases. And vitamins play the role of firefighters, whose task is to "put out" too aggressive radicals, absorb excess energy and prevent further formation of free radicals. Through the nature's efforts, antioxidant protection is given to us at birth, but over the years this mechanism wears out and requires additional recharge.
A large number of antioxidants we get from different products, so we can regulate their level on their own. However, it is important to remember that antioxidants are not a cure for all diseases, but merely a regulatory tool. Shock doses of these substances will not give us eternal youth and excellent health. Their effectiveness depends on quality rather than quantity. Moreover, an overabundance of antioxidants can lead to the reverse process and provoke the growth of free radicals.
Food for youth
So where to look for precious antioxidants? Primarily, it vitamins A, C, E, K, P, and bioflavonoids, zinc, iron, manganese and selenium. In this series highlights bioflavonoids, actively prevent other aging processes and cell disruption. A sure sign of their presence in the products - a pronounced dark pigmentation. Eggplant, beetroot, red cabbage, dark grapes, blueberries contain bioflavonoids in large quantities.
An excellent antioxidant properties are almost any fruit and berries: pears, apples, oranges, apricots, mangoes, black and red currants, cranberries, strawberries. Of course, in autumn they are much less in our diet, but the lack of fresh fruits can always be filled with dried fruits, as well as figs, dates and raisins. Vegetables are also powerful natural antioxidants. Their bright representatives are: broccoli, spinach, carrots, zucchini, pumpkin, asparagus, greens. Using the color principle, you can make a menu, rich in antioxidants, for every day. Add to the diet for several products of the same color scheme, and free radicals will not be terrible for you.
Muesli and granola, as well as the more usual oatmeal can also boast of a high content of antioxidants. It is very useful in this regard as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews and pistachios. Do not forget about the spices: cinnamon, basil, coriander, curry, cardamom, ginger, black pepper. All of them are excellent sources of antioxidants.
Antioxidants can be used in liquid form. First of all, it's freshly squeezed juice from dark grapes, pomegranate and citrus fruits. They abound in flavonoids and anthocyanins. Juices made from apples autumn varieties, as well as aronia also enrich the body with antioxidants. However, these properties apply only to fresh juices, drunk immediately after preparation. Almost all fruit drinks from the supermarket contain preservatives, stabilizers and other artificial additives, and therefore unsuitable for the recovery.
Among the antioxidant drinks useful for the body, red wines are marching. They normalize the work of the pancreas, dilate blood vessels and lower cholesterol. However, it is necessary to be treated with wine in homeopathic doses and not to drink more than 150 ml per day. Most teas are ideal for fighting free radicals. But the real champion among them is green tea. In its dry leaves a large amount of biologically active substances with antioxidant function is stored: tannins, alkaloids, essential oils and vitamins. For maximum effect, you should drink fresh tea immediately after brewing.
Unstable off-season and the coming winter is an excellent opportunity to recharge antioxidants, energy and good mood, and at the same time how to strengthen the strength of immunity and fortitude of the spirit.