Without any doubt, antioxidants are essential to enjoying optimal health part. Even conventional western doctors recognize the importance of getting enough antioxidants from our diet or consumption in high-quality supplements. However, do you know how antioxidants work in the body?
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are a class of molecules capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules. The body distributes, within itself, several nutrients because of its antioxidant properties. It also manufactures enzymes to control such reactions chains free radicals.
The body produces some antioxidants, but not others. In addition, the natural production of antioxidants in the body can decrease with age.
There are some antioxidants that cannot be manufactured within the body and must be obtained from foods rich in antioxidants or powerful supplements. These are:
Resveratrol – It is found in some fruits like grapes, vegetables, cocoa and red wine. This antioxidant can cross the blood – brain barrier, so it provides protection for the brain and nervous system.
It has been found that resveratrol is as effective to keep the body from aging-related diseases, which has been nicknamed the “fountain of youth”.
In addition to providing protection against free radicals, this antioxidant can help:
- Inhibit the spread of cancer, especially prostate cancer.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Maintain a healthy heart and improve the elasticity of blood vessels.
- Normalize the inflammatory response.
- Prevent Alzheimer.
Carotenoids are a class of pigments naturally generated and have potent antioxidant properties. They are compounds that give food their vibrant colors. There are more than 700 natural carotenoids, and now, probably at least 10 different circulating in their bloodstreams.
Carotenoids can be classified into two groups:
Carotenes: not contain oxygen atoms. Examples include lycopene (found in red tomatoes) and beta-carotene (found in orange carrots), which is converted into vitamin A in the body.
Xanthophyll: it contains oxygen atoms and examples of this are the lutein, Catan Xan tina (the best of chanterelle mushrooms), zeaxanthin and astaxanthin. Zeaxanthin is the most common carotenoid that occurs in nature and found in peppers, kiwi, corn, grapes, courgettes and oranges.
Astaxanthin: Although it is technically a carotenoid, it is an antioxidant that deserves special mention because of its amazing nutritional benefits. Astaxanthin is a marine carotenoid produced by the microalgae Haematococcus pluvial protect from UV radiation when its water supply dries.
That astaxanthin is the most powerful carotenoid for fighting free radicals. It is 65 times more powerful than vitamin C, 54 times the beta-carotene and 14 more than vitamin E.
As resveratrol, you can also cross the blood-brain barrier and the blood-retinal barrier, something that neither beta-carotene and lycopene can do.
Astaxanthin is also more effective than other carotenoids to “quench singlet oxygen”, a particular type of oxidation caused by sunlight and various organic materials. Astaxanthin is 550 times more powerful than vitamin E and 11 times more beta-carotene to neutralize this singlet oxygen.
Astaxanthin is an antioxidant that provides a wide range of benefits, such as:
- Support immune functions.
- Improve cardiovascular health by reducing C – reactive protein (CRP) and triglycerides and increasing the beneficial HDL.
- Protect eyes from cataracts, macular degeneration, and blindness.
- Protect the brain from dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Reducing the risk of various cancers.
- Promote recovery from spinal cord injury and other central nervous system.
- Reduce inflammation from various causes, such as arthritis and asthma.
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