Antioxidants are man-made or natural substances that can neutralise free radicals and protect the body from cellular damage. Antioxidants prevent or delay some types of cell damage. Certain antioxidants can be produced by the body, while others are obtained through dietary sources. Antioxidants are found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables. They are also available as dietary supplements.
Free radicals are chemicals that are naturally formed in the body as a byproduct of calories being converted to energy. In addition, they can be found in environmental sources, including air and sunlight when it reacts with the skin. They are capable of damaging cells and genetic material. The body generates free radicals as the inevitable byproducts of turning food into energy. Others are in the food you eat and the air you breathe. Some are generated by sunlight’s action on the skin and eyes.
Examples of antioxidants include
- Free radicals occur naturally as byproducts of chemical reactions that take place in our bodies. However, exposure to pollution, cigarette smoke and sunlight can increase the number of free radicals.
- Free radicals can damage tissues, cell membranes and DNA, which may lead to certain cancers and other diseases.
- Free radicals come in many shapes, sizes, and chemical configurations. What they all share is insatiable appetite for electrons, stealing them from any nearby substances that will yield them. This electron stealing can radically alter the “loser’s” structure or function. Free radical damage can change the instructions coded in a strand of DNA causing a variety of diseases including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and eye diseases such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
THE ROLE OF ANTIOXIDANTS
- Antioxidants help to stabilize free radicals and prevent them from doing damage.
- The human body, long used to this harsh attack, makes antioxidant molecules that quench free radicals. Antioxidants are also extracted from food products. They work by generously giving electrons to free radicals without turning into electron-scavenging substances themselves.
- Toxins produced are stored in the fat cells inside body. The body holds on to the fat cells as a defense mechanism to prevent the body from being attacked and flooded with toxins. Toxins slow down metabolism and you can’t lose weight even if you are eating less.
- Toxins also affect the brain cells and interfere with appetite control and proper hormone regulation such as controlling blood sugar.
- Antioxidants neutralise the free radicals and help to eliminate the toxins in the body. This helps every cell in the body to function more effectively in processing waste, thereby, increasing metabolism. Antioxidants also make the fat cells cut their production of triglycerides.
Berries: Colourful berries like blueberries, strawberry, mulberry, goji berry top the foods high in antioxidants chart hands down. That is because they are among the highest antioxidant foods in the world! Berries come with a host of antioxidant vitamins and minerals that help lower inflammation and strengthen the immune system.
Nuts & Seeds: The vitamin E in nuts and seeds along with the fibre make for an envious nutrient combination. Seeds are often ignored but they are a powerhouse of nutrients too.
Green leafy vegetables: Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, methi, dill leaves have beta-carotene along with providing vitamins A, C, E, and even calcium. They are also a rich source of potassium and magnesium.
Whole grains: By simply replacing refined grains like white rice or maida with red rice or whole wheat flour, you can significantly increase the antioxidant quotient in your diet. They provide you with the antioxidant nutrients selenium and zinc. They are also rich in phytochemicals.
Green tea: Green tea is rich in antioxidants namely flavonoids and polyphenols like epigallocatechin gallate. These antioxidants act as powerful anti-inflammatory agents.
GRECOBE– An Ultimate Antioxidant
GRECOBE – Green coffee bean extract has strong anti-oxidant properties. The Green coffee bean extract has Chlorogenic acid, dietary polyphenols which act to help reduce free radicals in the body. Chlorogenic acid is a phytochemical found in green coffee beans but when the coffee beans are roasted, the chlorogenic acid is destroyed. They have been long known for their beneficial properties. This active ingredient makes green coffee bean an excellent agent to absorb free radicals; as well as helping to avert hydroxyl radicals, both of which contribute in the degradation of cells in the body. It has been postulated that it is able to reduce blood sugar levels and potentially exert an anti-diabetic effect too. It’s now available in sachets and is as easy to consume now as it is healthy and tasty!