All about antioxidants

wellbeing

From being disease fighters to immune boosters to an antidote to aging, the term ‘antioxidants’ is the latest buzzword.

What is an antioxidant

?

Picture an apple or a broccoli that turns brown when kept outside or a metal that rusts over time. This discolouration or rusting, scientifically termed as oxidation is similar to something that goes on inside our body. Free radicals are a by-product of this oxidation process and are accelerated by stress, nicotine use, alcohol consumption or anything that is generally considered harmful for your body. The radicals are like scavengers who feast on the cells and tissues in our body and corrode them. The body creates many different types of molecules - antioxidants - to combat free radicals and protect the cells from damage. 

How do antioxidants work?

Since the free radicals are usually energy-starved, the antioxidants provide the extra energy required by the radicals to prevent them from feeding on the cells for energy. Thus, they inhibit damage to the body’s cells and tissue. 

Where can you find them?

Many food substances, fresh vegetables and fruits are good source of antioxidants. They are found in different forms like carotenoids, flavonoids, tannins, large amounts in carrots, pomegranate, green leafy vegetables like collards and spinach, berries, cherries and grapes, citrus fruits like oranges, apples and pears.

Why are they important?

When oxidation occurs in foods, they release radicals that are harmful to the gum tissues. The leftover food particles in the mouth also contribute to the oxidation. While under attack, gingival tissues rely on natural antioxidants to fight oxidation. You must ensure you keep your oral cavity clean by brushing, flossing and rinsing your mouth regularly. Use toothpaste enriched with antioxidants which help negate the effect of oxidants in the mouth and removes toxins. Follow it up with flossing your teeth to remove any leftover particles. 

Inhibit the onset of"biological rust" that oxidation can cause in your body and help your body help itself by eating healthy and brushing better.

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