Antioxidants are substances that help minimise damage to cells caused by free radicals in your body. (The unstable waste molecules that the body produces as it processes food and reacts to the environmental, which causes harm to cells and body functions).
Free Radicals can be caused by internal, such as inflammation, bacteria, mitochondrial activity or external factors; pollution, radiation, alcohol intake and cigarette smoke etc. If the body cannot process and remove these free radicals efficiently, oxidative stress occurs. Oxidative stress has been linked to heart diseases, cancer, stroke, respiratory diseases, immune deficiencies, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and many others.
In short, your body needs to maintain a certain balance between free radicals and antioxidants. When this equilibrium is disrupted, it can lead to oxidative stress and various medical complications.
How to get more Antioxidants in your diet
Although your body generates its own antioxidants, an adequate antioxidant intake is important, namely vitamins C and E.
While these extra antioxidants are non-essential for your body, they play an important role in general health.
The best source of antioxidants are plant-based foods, especially fruits and vegetables.
Those high in antioxidant content are also referred to as superfoods.
TIP 1 : Foods with rich and vibrant colours often contain the most antioxidants. Eg, blueberries, spinach, pomegranates, carrots.
TIP 2: Berries, green tea, coffee and dark chocolate are renowned for being good sources of antioxidants.
TIP 3: Cooking particular foods can decrease antioxidant levels. Studies have shown that cauliflowers, peas and zucchini loses much of their antioxidant activities in the cooking process.
While a dietary intake of antioxidants is essential for optimal health, more is not always better. Excessive intake of isolated antioxidants can have toxic effects and may promote rather than prevent oxidative damage. Therefore it is always advisable to seek further information about any supplement from your pharmacist before supplementing.
On the other hand, multi-vitamins/ supplements that have a high antioxidant content to complement your diet is highly beneficial especially if you live a hectic lifestyle or are unable to follow a health diet.
Ubiquinol is the reduced form of CoQ10 whose production in our body naturally decreases as we age. It is a substance that has various functions in the body, including energy production, heart health maintenance, growth and fortification of cells and immunity. Its role as an antioxidant also benefits immunity, fatigue, heart health and plays a crucial role in the reproductive system.
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