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Top 10 Indian Antioxidant Foods for Immunity-Boosting

Antioxidants are our body’s soldiers that defend us from the oxidative stress caused by free radicals that lead to chronic diseases including cancers, neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer, Dementia;

February 11, 2021


Immunity  Boosting Antioxidants In Indian Diet


What are Antioxidants?


ANTIOXIDANTS are our body’s soldiers that defend us from the oxidative stress caused by free radicals that lead to chronic diseases including cancers, neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer, Dementia; Auto-immune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis; age-related problems of skin elasticity & genetic (& partly AI) degenerative disorder like Parkinson’s.


How are Antioxidant foods related to health and diseases?


Free radicals are produced every now & then in our body, eg: while converting food to energy, smoking, consuming alcohol, when exposed to pollution & while ingesting trans fats or fried foods and/or even excessive & prolonged exercising.


Free Radical Formation


When these free radicals exceed the number of antioxidants (the soldiers), the oxidative stress occurs in the body that ends up causing chronic diseases.


Is it too complex a science to understand? Did the free radical & electron theory just bounce back?


Instead, think of a boy who recently dumped his girlfriend (for eating samosa & over-exercising). Now, this boy (electron/ free radical) is alone and under too much stress (oxidative stress) that he drinks alcohol & leads to problems in his house & neighborhood (damage to cells & DNA leading to degenerative diseases). While when he meets his better half (antioxidants), things start falling in place. And they live happily thereafter (no diseases, late aging).


Therefore, Antioxidants are crucial to stay healthy & rid of diseases lifelong. The antioxidant-rich foods make humans immune & thereby prevent cancers, cardiovascular diseases & other life-threatening disorders. Antioxidants also prevent early aging.


How can I avoid increase of free radicals in the body?

  • Limit your fried, junk, processed, canned & packaged food.
  • Restrict dalda, vegetable oils or refined oils.
  • Say no to preservatives, artificial colors & additives.
  • Do Not reuse the oil for cooking/frying various foods.
  • Avoid alcohol & smoke
  • Reduce the exposure to chemicals & pollution as much as you can


List of Antioxidants

  • Carotenoids include Beta-carotene (from dark-colored foods- beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, bell peppers), Lutein (a xanthophyll made by plants- spinach, kale, yellow carrots), lycopene (tomato, asparagus, papaya, watermelon)
  • Selenium (nuts, fishes, brown rice, barley)
  • Vitamin C (cauliflower, cantaloupe, amla, kiwi, lemon, orange, strawberry)
  • Vitamin E (almonds, avocado, sunflower seeds, peanuts)
  • Zinc (sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, cashews, lentils)
  • Phenolic compounds like  quercetin (onions, apples), Catechins (tea, cocoa, berries), resveratrol (grapes, peanuts, red & white wine), anthocyanins (blueberries, strawberries), coumaric acid (spices, berries)

You may wonder if these antioxidants would come from exotic & expensive foods? What if I bust your myths & tell you that there are low cost & easily available antioxidant-rich foods near you in abundance?

Top 10 Antioxidant Foods to Include in your daily diet


Do include these in your daily diet & see the effects for longevity & strong immune system.


Top 10 Antioxidant Foods for Immunity boosting

  • Turmeric: It contains curcumin for which the daily safe dosage is 500 mg. It is anti-inflammatory in nature & helps in joint pains & getting rid of acne as well. It is good for diabetics & must be consumed under supervision as it may lead to hypoglycemia. Note that curcumin has a poor bio availability & is best absorbed when mixed with milk or black pepper & honey (to exhibit antimicrobial properties).

Antioxidant Food - Turmeric

  • Amla: Known as a super food, it has 20 times Vitamin C than oranges. Consume amla with black pepper for high absorption of antioxidants in the body.

Antioxidant Food - Amla

  • Black Pepper: Contains piperine, an antioxidant that boosts the immune system due to its anti-tumor properties. It reduces insulin resistance and helps in the reduction of fat on the liver

Antioxidant Food - Black Pepper

  • Tomato: It has powerful antioxidants & protects the eyes. Damage induced due to light,  cataracts & age-related degeneration.

Antioxidant Food - Tomato

  • Nuts & Seeds: High on selenium, consume soaked & peeled almonds to remove the tannins that hinder Selenium absorption.

Antioxidant Food - Nuts in Rice

  • Onions & Garlic: The antioxidant properties of these condiments help in lowering the Blood pressure and cholesterol. Onions & garlic have antibacterial & anti-fungal properties & act as natural antibiotics. It's counted in aphrodisiac & known to increase the sperm count in men & estrogen in women

Antioxidant Food - Onion


Should we overdo Antioxidants?


No, anything & everything is good when consumed/done in moderation. The toxicity of antioxidants can also lead to problems. As per Medlineplus, high doses of beta carotene (vitamin A) leads to lung cancers in smokers, High Vitamin E dosage increases prostate cancer risks & strokes.


Ensure you consume these 10 antioxidant-rich foods in your daily routine for a better immune system to combat bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.


References:

  1. https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S1984-82502016000100005&script=sci_arttext#:~:text=Bioavailability%20studies%20revealed%20that%20amla,which%20is%20a%20bioavailability%20enhancer.
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5642804/
  3. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/70/2/261/4431047
  4. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-12-thirteen-ways-free-radicals-important.html
  5. https://medlineplus.gov/antioxidants.html
  6. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/antioxidants-in-depth
  7. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/antioxidants/
  8. https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-health-benefits-of-turmeric/answer/Ratika-Chawla-6


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