After all the rain and flooding, we are surrounded by bacteria and viruses that are dying to get inside us and take over! Our only defense against them is our immune system- a complex army of soldiers that protects us.
Low immunity= getting sick.
Related Read:“5 tips & 5 foods to keep the Doctor away this monsoon!”
Antioxidants are powerful compounds in our foods that keep our immune systems working strong.
Did you know? Boosting our immune system with antioxidants is not only just for fighting colds and flu. It is also one of the best ways to have a healthy heart and prevent cancer, too.
Now that you know the benefits, you may wonder how and where to get these immune boosters?
Research suggests, antioxidant substances are either made by the body (given the right nutrition) or are obtained via the diet or nutritional supplements.
Let’s take a look at some important antioxidants…
- Glutathione: Known as the “chief antioxidant”, is found in every single cell of the body, and maximizes the actions of all other antioxidants. Although produced in the body (cannot be supplemented orally), its action does require trace mineral selenium which, of course, has to be obtained via the diet. Thus, selenium is an important antioxidant in its own right, having been well studied and documented as the essential cancer-protecting nutrient. Fish, meat, eggs and poultry are good sources along with sunflower seeds, whole grains and mushrooms.
- Ascorbic Acid or Vitamin C: Numerous studies have supported its ability as a powerful water soluble antioxidant, that reduces the risk of developing chronic disease, such as heart disease and lung cancer, especially in smokers. Ascorbic Acid is found in citrus, kiwi, strawberries, bell peppers and broccoli.
- Vitamin E: Found in almonds, avocados and olive oil, it is the major fat-soluble antioxidant in the body, that comes to the rescue when a free radical attacks the fatty acids in the cell’s lining. Vitamin E is also important for diabetics, reducing cellular level damage due to free radicals.
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- Lutein, zeaxanthin (found in dark green leafy veggies like kale, spinach and broccoli) as well as Lycopene (primarily found in red fruits and vegetables like tomatoes) help as powerful antioxidants, slowing the progress of age-related macular degeneration in the eyes. Beta-carotene creates vitamin A, is also important for vision and bone health. Good sources are carrots, sweet potatoes and kale.
- CoQ10 ( Co-Enzyme Q10) is probably the most powerful antioxidant used by the body. It plays an important role in protecting the heart, arteries and blood vessels, as well as slows down premature ageing. Supplements have shown to bring positive results in patients suffering from fibromyalgia.
Not how I look IRL!
Being a mom of a 3 year old, and juggling a full time career, along with the household, falling sick is the last thing I would like on my plate. To keep illness at bay, along with trying to eat healthy, I found that supplementing with an antioxidant, proved to be insuring. I did fall ill at times, but the severity and duration was far less. Seeing the difference, I personally believe in the magic and power of antioxidants.
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Natural Foods Vs. Supplements? (Watch this space or simply subscribe to get notified when it is published… )
A mother, A Registered Dietitian, a food enthusiast and a globe trotter- all rolled in one! Shiren is trying to help people (and herself) find the right balance in between, one post at a time.