If you’ve taken an interest in leading a more natural, holistic lifestyle, you’ve probably heard people rave about the benefits of antioxidants. These compounds found in food can boost your immune system and may help reduce your risk of disease. Here's what you should know about incorporating these substances into your diet.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are natural substances that come in the form of vitamins, minerals, and other compounds. They are mainly known for fighting free radicals, highly reactive atoms generated naturally by the body that can cause oxidative stress when their levels exceed those of antioxidants. Oxidative stress can damage cells and is linked to aging symptoms and many illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Antioxidants are produced naturally, but when the production of free radicals starts to overwhelm the body, food can be a valuable outside source. Integrating antioxidants into your diet helps neutralize these unstable atoms, reducing or preventing the damage caused to cells.
How Can You Get Them Through Your Diet?
There are many types of antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, flavonoids, and lycopene. Each serves a different function, so it is critical to have a balanced and varied diet.
Beta-carotene, for example, is used by your body to make vitamin A and contributes to healthy skin, hair, and immune system function. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables, including carrots, sweet potatoes, papaya, and spinach, are excellent sources of beta-carotene.
Vitamins C and E play key roles in protecting cells from damage due to oxidative stress. Citrus fruits, berries, broccoli, and bell peppers contain vitamin C, while vitamin E is found in leafy greens, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and vegetable oils.
Other excellent antioxidants to look for include lycopene, which can be gained from red fruits and vegetables; vitamin A, common in dairy products and eggs; and selenium, found in Brazil nuts, seafood, and lean meats. Dark chocolate, coffee, and green and black tea are also rich in antioxidants.
If you need help maintaining a healthier immune system, Integrative Medicine of New York PLLC will assist you in determining the best lifestyle adjustments for your well-being. Serving Long Island, the Tri-State area, and all five boroughs of NYC, this practice provides natural solutions for boosting the immune system against disease, offering holistic alternatives to traditional treatments. Their preventive medicine program includes a balanced approach to better health using nutritional guidance, stress management, and detoxification. Call (516) 759-4200 to schedule a consultation, or visit their website for more information about their services.
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