Antioxidants are practical tools in fighting oxidative stress in the body. They slow or prevent the damage caused by free radicals in cells, which are linked to aging and several adverse health conditions. Free radicals are believed to be tied to the body’s reaction to stress, environmental conditions, certain foods, and other factors.
The body produces specific amounts of antioxidants naturally, but their benefits make getting more antioxidants exogenously crucial for many people. Thankfully, antioxidants are found in many foods like spinach, berries, nuts, and fish.
Understanding what antioxidants are and how they work can lead to better overall health. The more informed you are about antioxidants, the more you’re able to make intelligent choices about diet and exercise that reduce oxidative stress and prevent premature aging. Here’s what you need to know about antioxidants and how to add more of them to your diet.
Understanding Oxidative Stress
Cells are living organisms and the building block of life. As living things, they have a natural lifespan. When a cell dies, it naturally throws off waste as a byproduct. Cell waste is usually called free radicals.
When a person is stressed or is in a negative environment, the body has difficulty processing the waste, and, as a result, the excess free radicals cause oxidative stress, which is linked to things like cancer, heart disease, stroke, immune system problems, inflammation, and other health concerns.
How Antioxidants Fight Oxidative Stress
How can you get rid of oxidative stress? Of course, things like healthy living and exercise reduce oxidative stress, but at some point, everyone is likely to encounter stress. Antioxidants help eliminate the number of free radicals in the body to prevent the extent and damage of oxidative stress.
Doing things like taking supplements high in antioxidants or eating foods rich in antioxidants certainly help. The more antioxidants you have in your body, the better you’re able to respond positively to adverse environments, including stress from work or home life. This limits the impact of oxidative stress and boosts your immune system.
Finding Antioxidants in Foods
Eating healthy foods is one of the best ways to increase your antioxidant levels. They are an essential part of overall physical health. Your body makes antioxidants naturally, including peptides like glutathione. In addition, many foods can add antioxidants to help your body respond to oxidative stress by eliminating free radicals before they start doing any damage.
Foods high in antioxidants include things like seeds, meat, fish, nuts, healthy oils, and leafy vegetables. Also, lemons and other citrus fruits have a lot of antioxidants. Usually, a hallmark of healthier foods is that they are higher in antioxidants than processed foods and snacks that are high in sugar. Of course, these foods are bad for you, but they can also increase the effects of oxidative stress because your body lacks the resources to manage free radicals.
Other Ways to Reduce Oxidative Stress
Of course, there are other ways people should lower their risk of oxidative stress in addition to consuming more antioxidants. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Avoiding stress – Typically, avoiding stress slows the rate at which cells die and reduces the number of free radicals in the body. Whether you experience stress at work or school, be mindful of how stressed you get and ask yourself whether it’s good for your overall health. Manage stress effectively by taking time to relax every day. Also, avoid situations that lead to chronic stress, like intense careers and toxic relationships.
Exercise – Exercise is a fantastic stress release and an excellent way to manage free radicals. When your body is healthier, you’re much less likely to experience chronic inflammation, obesity, diabetes, and other conditions that can lead to premature aging, heart disease, and other concerns. Living an active lifestyle is one of the best things you can do for your long-term health. Do your best to stay in a healthy weight range to improve your body’s response to stress.
Sleep – Besides avoiding stress, exercising, and adding antioxidants to your diet, getting enough sleep is a significant health benefit that lowers oxidative stress. Get more good-quality sleep to give your body the time it needs to rejuvenate for the next day. In addition, it will keep you from eating harmful foods and other negative stress responses.
Peptides & Antioxidants
BPC-157 is a peptide made up of 15 amino acids. It is a naturally occurring peptide and is also known as a body protection compound designed to facilitate many positive health processes.
For example, in animal models, BPC-157 demonstrated it accelerates wound healing, including bone-to-tendon recovery. It’s also a potent anti-inflammatory with many antioxidant benefits. In subjects given the peptide, they say a better immune response to inflammation reduces oxidative stress and leads to faster recovery times. It does this by increasing type 1 collagen in affected tissues.
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