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What Are Antioxidants? Are They Healthy? Here’s How You Can Include Them In Your Diet



Antioxidants have been the topic of discussion for a long time. Antioxidants are vitamins and minerals that protect our bodies from the damage done caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules which attack our bodies’ healthy cells and weaken the immune system. They provide numerous health benefits and are very important for overall health, because if free radicals are left unchallenged, they can cause many chronic diseases. Therefore, it becomes necessary that we incorporate antioxidants into our diet for a healthy lifestyle. Antioxidants, include vitamins C, A and E, lycopene, lutein, beta-carotene, flavonoids, selenium and they all can be found in certain foods, herbs and spices as well as dietary supplements.

Why is it important to include antioxidants in your diet?
Human body uses antioxidants to balance free radicals. These powerful chemicals limit or stop the damage caused by the free radicals. A diet high in antioxidants can protect you from several diseases. These include heart diseases, stroke and certain types of cancer. They help in boosting a strong immunity. Antioxidants also help you fight against several neurological and mood disorders. They are beneficial for eye health and may also give you a healthy, glowing and vibrant skin.

Antioxidant rich foods which should be in your diet:
1. Walnuts:
One of the healthiest nuts; walnuts should be included in your diet. Walnuts are not only high in protein, fiber, and manganese, but they are also loaded with heart-healthy unsaturated fats, like all the other nuts. Walnuts as compared to other nuts are particularly rich, in alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid which is mostly found in plants.

2. Strawberries:
This red heart-shaped fruit are loaded with vitamin C and other skin-friendly antioxidants. Rich in antioxidants strawberries can do wonders for your skin. They help recover your skin from damage caused by the UV rays and pollution. They also contain folate, a vitamin B that helps in maintaining a healthy heart. Strawberries are also known to naturally whiten your teeth and remove white spots on your teeth.

3. Dark chocolate:
Another reason to grab dark chocolate! Dark chocolate has a good reputation as it is rich in antioxidants called flavonols. The compound, flavonols can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of diabetes. Therefore, avoid normal chocolate as they are loaded with sugar and milk and have lower antioxidant levels.

4. Oranges:
Oranges, along with other fruits like mangoes, peaches and watermelon, are rich in beta-cryptoxanthin. This antioxidant is beneficial as it lowers the risk of arthritis and other joint pain.

5. Spinach:
This dark green leafy vegetable spinach is packed with carotenoids. Antioxidants like carotenoids promote healthy eyes and help prevent macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in older people.

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