The benefits of antioxidants have been a popular subject in the field of health and nutrition.
What are antioxidants?
An antioxidant is a term that refers to a group of organic chemicals that hampers the process of oxidation.
Oxidation is caused by harmful molecules known as free radicals. These free radicals may cause damage to human cell membranes, including a part of the cells called mitochondria which is responsible for producing energy. When it is damaged, the cell’s ability to produce new mitochondria will decrease. This is why free radicals are often associated with the aging process in human beings.
The same process causes a sliced apple to turn brown and metal to become rusty.
There are several factors that can lead to oxidative degeneration, such as lifestyle and environmental factors. This includes a poor diet (lack of antioxidant nutrients), smoking, pollution, stress and so on.
How do antioxidants work?
One of the benefits of antioxidants is neutralizing these harmful free radicals as well as repairing the damage caused to the cells. Cellular damages can potentially cause serious health problems such as heart disease and cancer. That is why it is essential to consume antioxidant-rich foods, particularly those which contain vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene, selenium, and zinc because these vitamins and minerals actually function as antioxidants.
Antioxidants can also prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol – often termed as “bad cholesterol” that can clog the arteries.
Eye and Skin Health
Besides that, antioxidants have an effect on the health of our eyes as well. Eyes are sensitive towards free radicals. Antioxidants protect the eyes by filtering the UV rays which can cause free radical damage, thus preventing eye diseases such as cataracts. A diet that contains vitamins A, C, E and zinc mineral is important to help keep our eyes healthy.
Benefits of antioxidants also include preventing skin moisture loss, which is essential in obtaining healthy skin. Besides consuming antioxidant-rich foods, topical application of antioxidants can benefit the skin as well.
This is why honey is one of the best natural skincare solutions since it has great antioxidant properties. The properties of honey also help to cure damaged, problematic skin.
It is simply a wonderful, safe alternative to consider before turning to other drugs or chemical products that may have harmful side effects.
Antioxidants for Post-Workout and Boosting Immunity
Antioxidants benefits are significant to athletes since intense physical exercise and workouts can cause oxidative degeneration and muscle inflammation may occur.
Of course, the human body has its own natural defense mechanism, but the ability of the defense system to fight against free radicals will decrease due to aging or other factors. By hampering the free radicals activity, researchers believe that antioxidants might also help to boost immunity.
Honey also offers great antioxidants benefits, same as fresh fruits and vegetables. Darker honey typically contains high antioxidant levels. It has the potential to prevent chemical reactions that are associated with many chronic diseases.
So, in addition to the benefits of antioxidants that other food sources can offer, why not include honey in your healthy diet? Remember, sweet treats CAN be healthy!