Antioxidants are molecules that are responsible for neutralizing the participation of free radicals found in the body, which greatly influences the functioning of the human body. Therefore, it is important to know everything about antioxidants , since they are extremely necessary for life.
All about antioxidants
Antioxidants, being a kind of substance that prevents the oxidation of cells, have the ability to counteract a series of problems that can occur in the body. These can be found in the body naturally, as well as being able to be made artificially.
Now, cell oxidation is a natural process that occurs in all people, it can damage skin cells, causing aging, as well as other cells in the body. The process becomes noticeable when there are too many free radicals, as that is when cells begin to fail. All of this may be due to metabolism, age, and nutritional diet.
However, it is possible to slow down cellular oxidation by maintaining an adequate amount of antioxidants . This is something very simple, since these can be obtained in many ways.
Antioxidants: What are they for?
Natural antioxidants have the function of preventing cellular oxidation generated in the body by respiration, lack of electrons in cells, among other reasons. In addition, they also prevent the rest of the healthy cells from being infected. Therefore, they act as preventives and protectors in the body.
Also, antioxidants serve to prevent premature aging and chronic diseases. In turn, they also delay physical disorders and cause a positive effect on the immune system. On the other hand, they prevent the spread of cancer cells. These types of substances can be found in various media, from enzymes to chemical and / or natural substances.
However, generally, the easiest way to find antioxidants is usually through fruits or foods that are rich in vitamins A, C and E, or, failing that, that have minerals, such as zinc , magnesium or selenium.
What is the function of antioxidants?
The function of antioxidants in the body is variable, since depending on the state of the individual they can change. That is, they will be responsible at all times to prevent, delay or reverse those reactions that have been caused by cellular oxidation. In any case, depending on what the body needs, these substances will act or not.
In addition, it is also possible that, depending on the type of antioxidant, its functioning varies, since, generally, non-enzymatic and enzymatic antioxidants cause positive reactions, but slightly different from each other.
They are the most used by people, as well as the best known, because they are the antioxidants that must be ingested to be found in the body. Among them we can mention:
- Vitamin A.
- Vitamin C .
- Vitamin E.
Non-enzymatic antioxidants can be found in a wide variety of natural foods and products, whether they are tomatoes, watermelons, greens, vegetables or other fruits, such as orange, lemon, among others.
Non-enzymatic antioxidants of vitamin A
For its part, vitamin A also acts as an antioxidant, because it can prevent diseases that are caused by excess free radicals in the body, including cancer. This can be found in various meats, fish, or dairy-containing products.
In addition, the antioxidants in vitamin A also generate a wide variety of effects that favor the body in many ways, whether on the skin, the immune system , the bones or others.
Non-enzymatic antioxidants of vitamin C
The antioxidants in vitamin C usually intervene in the formation of collagen in the body, a substance that is responsible for strengthening tissues, joints, bones, teeth, among others. To acquire these antioxidants, it is advisable to consume:
Non-enzymatic antioxidants of vitamin E
On the other hand, vitamin E, also known as tocopherol, can cause major changes in the body, because it protects the body from poor red blood cell formation, anemia, heart attacks, and can even prevent cells from losing electrons, which prevents the formation of free radicals. This vitamin is usually found in foods such as:
- Nuts (walnuts, peanuts and hazelnuts).
Enzyme antioxidants are produced by the body naturally, so there is no need to consume any specific food to be able to produce them. In addition, it should be mentioned that its action in the body is extremely powerful. In fact, it is usually higher than that of non-enzymatic antioxidants.
However, it is always recommended to combine them, since they come together to generate a stronger effect. Among the most important enzymatic antioxidants we can mention:
- Superoxide dismutase (SOD).
- Catalase (CAT).
- Glutathione peroxidase (GPx).
- Glutathione reductase (GR).
- Glutathione S transferase (GST).
- Glutamyl cysteinyl synthetase (GCS).
These antioxidants are also responsible for inhibiting the action of free radicals, in addition to causing the process of the conversion of peroxide found in the body (generally found in hydrogen). Therefore, these enzymes are in charge of carrying out the most important processes for deoxidation to occur correctly.
Classification of antioxidants: types of antioxidants
Although enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants are two totally different types, they are usually classified according to their functions in the body. Therefore, to understand everything about antioxidants, it is advisable to know their classification, which is as follows:
This type of antioxidant can be found in the cell membranes of the body, therefore the absorption process it goes through to enter the body is very fast. In addition, it is also linked to a series of lipid molecules that are in the body.
Tocopherols have a higher vitamin action than other substances in the body. That is why in pharmacy products, vitamin E syrups and capsules have four different types of tocopherols to cause a greater effect on the body.
On the other hand, it should be noted that this is one of the most important and / or necessary antioxidants in the body, because if it is lacking it could stop working correctly, causing failures in the absorption of fats, weakness in the liver, production of chronic diseases, among others.
It is commonly known as vitamin C. It is an enhancer for ingested antioxidants and a very important water-soluble compound in people’s diets. It is possible to find it very easily in different foods, being vegetables and fruits part of them.
This type of antioxidant influences the functioning of the immune system. In addition, it also prevents cell aging, which is why it is a very important compound.
They are one of the most important substances, because, thanks to beta-carotenes, positive effects of vitamin A can be obtained. When there is a deficiency of this component, it can cause severe diseases in the body, such as: blindness night, dry eyes, weakness in the immune system, among others.
These are compounds found in natural products, although they can also be found in chemicals. However, its implementation in diets is only recommended through natural foods, such as drinks and infusions.
Flavonoids usually prevent oxidizing elements, which are found in the environment, from affecting the skin. Therefore, a person lacking flavonoids can develop skin cancer very easily. In addition, the cellular oxidation produced in the skin will be more noticeable.
This is one of the most important enzymatic compounds that the body produces, since it is responsible for eliminating free radicals from the body. In addition, it is considered one of the most powerful, since it greatly influences the functioning of the other antioxidants, both enzymatic and non-enzymatic.
This compound is very important in the body, because it protects cells from oxidation. In addition, it is also responsible for producing cellular energy, which influences the functioning of all cells in the body; due to this, its great relevance as an antioxidant.
It is another of the types of non-enzymatic antioxidants. It can be found in a wide variety of foods, including all vegetables that have green leaves, or are of such color. Lutein is the antioxidant in charge of protecting the body from free radicals. Besides, it can also greatly influence people’s eye health.
It is a non-enzymatic antioxidant. It also protects cells from oxidation, and can be found in foods such as tomatoes, grapefruits, and watermelons, among others. Lycopene is extremely relevant, since it has properties that can greatly help the body’s functioning.
Foods that have large amounts of antioxidants
As well mentioned, it is possible to find antioxidants in food. However, some of these may have more antioxidants than others. Among the set of foods that have large amounts of antioxidants, it is necessary to mention the following:
- Guava: This fruit has a large amount of vitamins, such as A and C. When these are ingested, the body can obtain various antioxidants, which allow it to improve its functioning.
- Carrots: They have high levels of vitamin A, C and E. That is why their consumption is recommended, to avoid cellular oxidation and all the problems that this entails.
- The apple: It has large amounts of vitamin A and E, as well as certain levels of vitamin C. In addition, it also has minerals that promote deoxidation, zinc and magnesium being part of them.
- The papaya : This is a delicious fruit that has large amounts of vitamin C, as well as fewer calories. Therefore, it is ideal for a balanced diet, full of antioxidants and components that increase energy levels.
Importance of antioxidants in the body
Antioxidants play an important role in the body, because, thanks to them, different diseases can be avoided. In addition, its main function prevents free radicals from being generated in the body. As we are already seeing, this is really important, since if a person has high amounts of these molecules in their body, they could suffer from severe diseases, such as cancer.
Likewise, antioxidants prevent premature aging, caused by an excess of radicals or their accumulation. In addition, they also decrease the level of probabilities of suffering from memory problems, or cardiovascular diseases; as well as increase reflexes and facilitate learning in people.
On the other hand, it is essential to note that the consumption of this compound is not mandatory, since the body produces it. However, consuming foods that contain antioxidants would improve the functioning of those that are already in the body.
At what age can you start ingesting non-enzymatic antioxidants?
Until now, the exact age at which non-enzymatic antioxidants can be consumed has not been recorded, since any healthy organism can tolerate them; unless, you have a sensitivity or allergy to the consumption of certain foods that contain such antioxidants.
However, in these cases it is possible that the specialist doctor prescribes medical products that increase the levels of those antioxidants that are below what is necessary.
On the other hand, it is important to bear in mind that after adulthood it is necessary to re-evaluate the food consumed. Likewise, it is vital to add certain types of supplements that prevent the appearance of problems in the body. Among them are usually antioxidants, since they help in the inhibition of cellular oxidation while fighting the signs that it has left, either due to smoking, alcohol consumption, poor nutritional diets, or old age.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.