Antioxidants. Most of us have heard of them – quite often, in the context of anti-ageing and skin care. And whilst we all want to keep wrinkles at bay, antioxidants may actually play a much more important role in maintaining our overall health. So read on to find ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘where’ when it comes to the power of antioxidants.
What are antioxidants – and why are they important?
Antioxidants are compounds found in certain foods that can help reduce or neutralise the damage in the body that can be caused by free radicals. Free radicals are the reactive compounds that are both produced by the body, and are also ingested through external sources such as pollution, cigarette smoke and ultraviolet light.
If the free radicals within the body are not inactivated by the impressive power of antioxidants, they can damage the DNA in your cells – which may lead to a wide range of health conditions including deterioration of vision, inflammation of the joints (arthritis), increased risk of heart disease and even the development of some cancers.
It is important to note that despite the vast body of evidence pointing to a beneficial health effect of antioxidants that in humans evidence of a modification of a chronic disease by antioxidant consumption remains elusive. There are different types of antioxidants that have different protective effects. There is ongoing research into this area, but there is strong anecdotal research that points to the power of different antioxidants and their protective properties. For example, the antioxidant, lutein, which is found in spinach, has been found to lower the incidence of optical lens degeneration which can lead to blindness.
So, sign me up – where do I find antioxidants?
There are a wide variety of plant sources that are rich sources of antioxidants. While most people can name a few sources of antioxidants such as tomatoes (lycopene), green tea (flavonoids) and carrots (beta-carotene), did you know that wholegrains are also a great source of antioxidants?
In fact, BARLEYmax®™ wholegrain actually packs a huge antioxidant punch – compared to other grains such as red quinoa, while rice and red wheat, it comes out miles in front. To give additional context, BARLEYmax®™ wholegrain has twice the antioxidant capacity of oats, three times that of broccoli and impressively, four time that of tea.
The bottom line.
Antioxidants are important for maintaining good health. It’s as simple as that! Eating a balanced diet which gives you exposure to a wide range of different antioxidants is also critical – but with the inclusion of BARLEYmax®™ in your diet you’re well on your way to sustained, overall good health.