An alarming rise in the prevalence of lifestyle diseases has enlightened consumers about foods that can transform their lifestyle with health-benefitting dietary habits. Consumers are keen to learn about healthy foods and diets to drop ingredients that may pose harm to their health.
As a result of current healthy eating trends and growing popularity of diverse dieting fads, ‘antioxidants’ has become a powerful buzzword among health-conscious consumers. Consumers are becoming aware about health-giving properties of various nutrients and antioxidants have topped the list with its benefits in boosting digestive health.
Beliefs about Antioxidants
Antioxidants often get assertions about their extraordinary contribution in fighting life-threatening diseases, including cancer. Antioxidants also get numerous claims about their role in preventing aging, which, in fact, cannot be reversed by any food nutrient.
While there is nothing that can completely rule out the risk of getting cancer, there still are some gut-healing properties behind the unsubstantiated hype created about antioxidants. Addition of antioxidants in diets can improve digestive health by counteracting oxidation as it can lead to damaging various biological functions.
Antioxidants are one of the most important nutrients that can degrade free radicals, which are created as a result of various biological processes. The biological effects of free radical formation can put oxidative stress on the body and impact certain biological functions, especially digestion.
Antioxidants and Digestive Health
The mucous membrane of the small intestine is lined up epithelium, which is known as intestinal epithelium, and it is highly sensitive to radiation and oxidative free radicals. Thereby, generation of free radicals can impose oxidative stress on the gastrointestinal tract, which can lead to intestinal damages and digestive issues.
Antioxidants play an important role in neutralizing free radicals that induce oxidizing stress on the gastrointestinal tract. The bacteria present in the gastrointestinal tract can be both beneficial, such as probiotics, and harmful. Various digestion problems are caused when the harmful bacteria outnumber their beneficial counterparts.
Antioxidants contribute in bolstering the growth of probiotics in the gastrointestinal tract and limiting the growth of harmful bacterial to a certain extent, and thereby, improving digestive health. Antioxidants are instrumental, not only in preventing free radicals from causing cellular damages, but also in improving the body’s defense system to pacify the impact of free radicals.
By boosting production of probiotics, antioxidant-rich foods can interrupt the deleterious effects of harmful bacteria and speed up digestion. Antioxidants help in detoxifying the gastrointestinal track of harmful molecules, such as free radicals and harmful bacteria, and protect the digestive system from an array of debilitating conditions. This can ultimately help in keeping away severe digestive problems and improving overall health.
Other Health Benefits of Antioxidants
Free radicals can have a direct impact on DNA in healthy cells, which, in severe cases, reproduce more free radicals uncontrollability to form cancerous tumors. Antioxidants can demobilize free radicals and prevent damages to DNA in cells, which has triggered researchers to discover efficiency of antioxidants in cancer prevention.
Antioxidants can also prevent cholesterol from being oxidized or attacked by free radicals, thereby limiting the LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels under control. This can help in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and maintaining cardiovascular health.
Recent research find benefits on antioxidant phytochemicals are among the most important nutrients that can improve vision. Lutein, which is an antioxidant carotenoid, can prevent retina cells at the back of the eyeball from oxidative stress by free radicals, thereby prove to be an essential nutrient for healthy eyes.
Eating diets rich in antioxidants can reduce oxidative stress and prevent the body from harmful free radicals and thereby, reduce the risk of severe, chronic health conditions. Strawberries, blueberries, kale, spinach, raspberries, pecans, red cabbage, and beans are among the healthy foods that are rich in antioxidants.