Consuming foods rich in antioxidants is essential for achieving full and balanced health. The role of these nutrients is to protect the body’s healthy cells against the harmful action of free radicals.
In this sense, it is essential to consume foods that combat these aggressors, such as those rich in vitamin C, E, beta carotene, and selenium, for example. Do you know how the antioxidant substance acts in our body? Do you know that there are two distinct groups?
And the foods rich in these important nutrients, do you know which are the most powerful antioxidants and how they act? Continue reading and see the answers to these and other essential questions to keep your health strong and balanced!
Before listing the most powerful antioxidants in the world, you need to understand how they protect you:
What are free radicals?
Free radicals are produced by the body during the burning of oxygen that occurs in the metabolic processes. In fact, they are a natural biological response to environmental toxins like cigarette smoke, radiation, sunlight, chemicals, among others.
Although the body itself defends itself through protective enzymes, they do not account for excess free radicals being produced. This is where antioxidants come in, acting only as moderators – not as blockers – reducing the concentration of free radicals.
Thus, the ingestion of antioxidant foods helps to avoid the harm caused by free radicals but does not eliminate them completely. They are associated with several diseases, such as cataracts, asthma, diabetes, cancer, rheumatological and cardiovascular diseases and also the process of premature aging.
However, free radicals also have a beneficial side to cell signaling, which gives them an important role in the immune system.
What are the antioxidants produced by the body? Know the antioxidants that we can produce:
Glutathione is considered the most powerful antioxidant produced by the body. What makes it so special is that it is found inside cells and has the unique ability to potentiate the action of other antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, CoQ10 and alpha-lipoic acid.
However, the main function of glutathione is to protect your cells from oxidative and peroxidative damage. In addition to being essential for detoxification, energy use, and prevention of diseases linked to aging.
Over the years the ability of your body to produce glutathione decreases. However, some nutrients can stimulate the production of this antioxidant, such as protein and curcumin, and foods such as raw milk, eggs, and lamb fed on grass.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
In addition to acting in the elimination of free radicals, this antioxidant acts to enhance insulin sensitivity and as a potent heavy metal chelator. ALA is the only antioxidant that reaches the brain offering benefits to people with brain diseases.
It also can regenerate other antioxidants such as vitamins C, E, and glutathione. Which means that when your body has spent these antioxidants, ALA helps in the process of building them back into your body.
Ubiquinone is used by every cell in your body. But you have to understand that your body converts the original component (CoQ10) to a reduced version (ubiquinone) with the aim of maximizing its benefits.
Ubiquinone benefits the body in many ways, in addition to protecting your body from free radicals (like any antioxidant). It produces energy for cells, provides support for the immune and nervous system, reduces signs of aging, and works to maintain blood pressure levels.
What are the most powerful antioxidants acquired through food consumption?
It is not enough to count on the antioxidants that your body produces, and it is essential that your diet be rich in this compound so that your body is fully protected against the dangers of free radicals. Check out the most powerful antioxidants for you to include in your diet!
Resveratrol is found in foods like grape, cocoa, and red wine.
This antioxidant acts in the body grapes-1659118_640 protecting the brain and nervous system by being able to pass the blood-brain barrier. It is so effective in combating aging it is known as the “fountain of youth.”
He is still known for:
Acting against the spread of prostate cancer
Reduce blood pressure
Keep your heart healthy
Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Normalize the anti-inflammatory response
Improve the elasticity of blood vessels.
It can be consumed by ingestion of the foods mentioned above or using supplementation.
They are compounds known to give foods vibrant colors – like shades of red, yellow and orange in many fruits and vegetables – but they are also powerful antioxidants. In fact, they are a class of more than 700 pigments that appear naturally in plants, bacteria, and algae that perform photosynthesis.
Carotenoids are not synthesized by the body, and the only way to get them is through the consumption of food or food supplements. They act by protecting vision, against cell deterioration, against premature aging, and against some chronic diseases.
Carotenoid sources: Although the largest sources of carotenoids are foods with orange, red and yellow coloration – such as tomato, carrot, orange, peach, and pumpkin – some foods contain the nutrient and do not have this coloring – Such as chlorella (a powerful green microalga), yam, spinach, and cabbage.
When we talk about the most powerful antioxidants in the world, the incredible astaxanthin could not be left out …
Have you ever wondered why the Salmon fish has that color? That is due to the large accumulation of carotenoids from their diet, highlighting among them astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin is a red carotenoid not only considered as one of the most potent antioxidants in the world but also known as the “king of carotenoids”, exceeding 500 times vitamin E and 50 times beta- Carotene, promoting health and protecting the nervous and vascular system as indicated by the NAXA – Natural Algae Astaxanthin Association. That is possible because of its unique molecular feature and hitherto impossible to reproduce in laboratories to perfection.
After years of research, and over 100 clinical trials, scientists around the world have discovered that astaxanthin not only has a great antioxidative power but also promotes many health benefits, such as:
- Protection of the cell against UVB rays and reduction of DNA damage
- Combats inflammation of joints and tendons (excellent for athletes)
- Inflammatory problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease among others.
- Protection of the immune system
- Reducing the risk of various types of cancer
- The recovery of some lesions of the central nervous system
- The relief of indigestion and reflux
- Eye health, including protection against cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness
- Control of triglyceride levels
- The most well-known natural source of this compound is the microalga Haematococcus Pluvialis, which in the environment is part of the food chain that reaches the Salmon, conferring such coloration. Seeking the expansion of salmon production worldwide, scientists have developed synthetic astaxanthin (derived from petrochemicals) similar to natural in molecular terms and which can color the fish but does NOT bring the same benefits to the human body when compared to Astaxanthin from natural sources.
Today large companies in the world are dedicated to the production of the microalga Haematococcus Pluvialis for extracting astaxanthin and marketing as a food supplement in capsule format. So either to consume the encapsulated astaxanthin or through the feed (salmon), be aware of the “natural origin” seal, confirming that the product you are going to consume shows the true astaxanthin and not the synthetic one, which will not give you the expected benefits.
They are substances produced by plants that protect against the evil action of solar radiation, as well as against pathogenic organisms. They inhibit the activity of the enzymes responsible for the production of free radicals.
Sources of flavonoids: reddish-colored fruits – strawberries, grapes, apples, blueberries, pomegranates and raspberries -, vegetables – broccoli, cabbage, spinach and parsley -, nuts, seeds – such as flaxseed, Wine, and teas.
One of the most well-known antioxidants, vitamin C, brings numerous health benefits. Among them it is worth mentioning:
Combating cell oxidation by being a major electron donor: source of vitamin C – one of the most powerful antioxidants
The protection of proteins, lipids and other important elements for the maintenance of cells
Performance in the synthesis of collagen, which is an important component of bones, blood vessels, skin, tendons, and ligaments
Sources of vitamin C: citrus fruits – oranges, lemons, mandarins -, pineapple, blueberry, kiwi, mango, raspberry strawberry, vegetables – broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, cauliflower, potato, tomato, potato -Does and Strawberries. Due to the lack of this antioxidant, it is also possible to make a food complementary.
And to end our list of the world’s most powerful antioxidants, we have vitamin E.
It is made up of eight different substances – four tocopherols and four tocotrienols. Consuming all of them through a varied diet is possible. However, if you do vitamin E supplementation, you will only consume one of them.
Sources of vitamin E: green leaves – spinach, watercress, arugula, among others -, vegetable oils and derivatives, whole grains, oilseeds – hazelnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, nuts – and seeds.
What is the best way to consume them?
Check out some consumer tips to boost the action and absorption of antioxidants!
A good tip to potentiate the antioxidants of vegetables is to consume them raw.
Fruits are rich in antioxidants but also contain fructose. Therefore, it is advisable to consume them in moderation, as this excess nutrient is harmful to health.
Eat plenty of green leaves because vegetables are rich in phytochemicals, which are made up of plants that act on the body as antioxidants – they are great for reducing inflammation and eliminating carcinogens.
And then? Did you like the post about the most powerful antioxidants in the world and how do they act? Now that you know the most potent antioxidants, how about, you include them in your diet?