The benefits of antioxidants are often discussed. About what they are and are they really so useful, told nutritionist, oncopsychologist Irina Mansurova.
Due to the lack of antioxidants, oxidative stress develops, notes Irina Mansurova. “With an excess of free radicals without appropriate neutralization, cells are damaged, as well as human genetic material. The risks of developing such health problems as cancer, pathologies of the reproductive system, diseases of the heart and blood vessels, and the development of diabetes are growing, ”the specialist emphasizes.
Oxidation has a special effect on the brain, since it is one of the main consumers of oxygen in the body, plus it consists of lipids (fats), which are very sensitive to the action of free radicals. “Neurocirculation disorders begin, connections between parts of the brain are weakened, and this is fraught with cognitive impairment, behavioral disorders and the development of severe neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Honeyton’s diseases),” says Irina Mansurova. Also, due to the effects of radicals on the brain, depression and bipolar disorder begin.
What is the point okislitspruce stress?
Irina Mansurova notes that this term hides an uncontrolled process of destruction of organic compounds (proteins, phospholipids, and others). The normal functioning of cells, tissues and organs is disrupted due to the effects of free radicals, which are normally found in any organism, but do not exceed 5% of the content.
The nutritionist calls the causes of oxidative stress:
- smoking and alcohol abuse;
- the use of foods with a large number of preservatives in the diet;
- the use of low-quality oil or vegetables treated with pesticides;
- insufficient drinking regimen, when less than one and a half to two liters of liquid are used per day;
- unfavorable environmental conditions;
- excessive physical activity;
- taking a large number of drugs;
- long stay in an unventilated room.
Symptoms of an oxidative reaction are:
- headaches that can only be managed with painkillers;
- problems in the digestive tract;
- skin rashes;
- muscle pain;
- weakness, as well as deterioration in concentration and increased fatigue;
- psychoemotional disorders;
- frequent SARS.
How is this stress treated?
Firstly, it is necessary to influence the cause, and secondly, to add antioxidants. “Unfortunately, it is not always possible to cope with some factors, for example, to move to a more environmentally friendly area or change jobs to a more convenient schedule, but the intake of antioxidant complexes is always available,” the specialist explains.
Antioxidants are substances that bind and neutralize free radicals. Many of them are vegetable. “It should be borne in mind that different antioxidants “work” in different organs and tissues, so it is advisable to take them not one at a time, but at once in a complex,” explains Irina Mansurova.
Where to get antioxidants?
Scientists for about a hundred years ago drew attention to flavonoids – substances that reduce the effects of ultraviolet radiation on plants where they are contained. Bioflavonoids – a mixture of substances that actively counteract free radicals – were discovered by Nobel laureate Albert Szent-Györgyi. Most of these substances are in greens and fresh vegetables.
“The main task of antioxidants can be called the fight against stress, and they also have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antitumor properties,” says the specialist.
Irina Mansurova notes that there are a number of foods rich in antioxidants. Among them:
- Green tea: Catechins in it have a wide range of activities, for example, reduce liver damage, increase the level of glutathione – the body’s main defender and participant in detoxification processes.
- Peppers: low in calories, rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene, which is converted into retinol.
- Berries and fruits (sea buckthorn, raspberries, currants, apples, cranberries, mountain ash, pomegranate): berries are rich in phenolic compounds, vitamins, carotenoids and tannins. According to studies, they are effective in the oncological field.
- Cauliflower and broccoli: Cruciferous vegetables are effective in fighting some types of cancer, they are high in phytochemicals, vitamin A, a number of B vitamins, ascorbic acid, minerals.
- Citrus fruits: Flavonoids in them are potential components of various types of therapy. For example, naringin corrects the lipid spectrum, reduces the level of “bad” cholesterol, has anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties, not only reduces the production of free radicals, but also restores enzyme activity.
- Peanuts, soybeans: they contain resveratrol, a compound that scavenges reactive oxygen species, thereby inhibiting oxidative stress, has an anti-cancer effect and is of interest as an anti-aging agent.
Antioxidants are good on their own, but they won’t work without lifestyle changes, notes Irina Mansurova. So, you should be outdoors more often, you should reconsider your diet in the direction of diversity and deal with stress. You should sleep for at least 8 hours, since melatonin (a hormone released during sleep) also has antioxidant activity.
“If the situation with oxidative stress is severe, then the general practitioner can suggest drug treatment with drugs with the necessary dose of antioxidants in a concentrated form. It can be both tablets and injections of drugs, ”explains Irina Mansurova.