Antioxidants have been a buzzword for years, but what exactly are they and what are their benefits for our overall health?
Antioxidants are compounds found in certain foods that protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and contribute to aging and several diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and heart disease.
The good news is that antioxidants can help combat these effects by neutralizing free radicals and reducing oxidative stress in the body. Here are some of the powerful benefits of consuming antioxidants regularly.
1. Boost Overall Immune System
Antioxidants can help enhance the immune system’s capacity to defend against harmful bacteria, viruses, and infections. They can also reduce the risk of chronic illnesses and diseases by boosting the production of white blood cells.
2. Improve Cognitive Function
Antioxidants like Vitamin E, C, and beta-carotene have been found to support healthy cognitive function and memory. Studies have also shown that they can lower the risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older individuals.
3. Promote Eye Health
Eating food rich in antioxidants can help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is a significant cause of vision loss in older adults. Antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and Vitamin C, help protect the retina against damage.
4. Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is a natural response of the body to fight infections and heal injury, but chronic inflammation can lead to several diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants like curcumin, found in turmeric, can help reduce inflammation and prevent chronic disease.
5. Protect Skin Health
Antioxidants like Vitamin C and E, carotenoids, and selenium help protect the skin from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation and environmental pollutants, which can cause premature aging, including wrinkles, discoloration, and fine lines.
To access the benefits of antioxidants, it’s important to incorporate a variety of these compounds in your daily diet. This kind of diet includes fruits and vegetables like blueberries, cranberries, pomegranates, Spinach, and carrots. It is also essential to maintain a healthy and balanced diet and lifestyle, including regular exercise and good sleep hygiene.
Dr. Dolan at 2020 Vision in Rochester Hills, MI, is a trusted optometrist providing comprehensive eye care services to the community. For more information on antioxidants, eye health, or to schedule an appointment, call 248-375-0040 today.