In today’s world of dynamic pursuits, we lead a lifestyle jammed with all kinds of things that tirelessly work against our physical self. The kind of diet we take, the polluted toxic air we breathe and the physical and mental exertion we put ourselves through, they all lead to some serious imbalances among various functioning aspects of our body. One such imbalance is called Oxidative stress.
What is Oxidative Stress and how It affects us?
Oxidative stress is the imbalance between the reactive oxygen species (like free radicals and peroxides) and antioxidants present in our body. Reactive oxygen species are molecules that contain oxygen and have unpaired valence electrons; this makes them highly reactive.
When we lead a stressful lifestyle which leads to unstable metabolism and when we are exposed to pollution, tobacco, heavy metals, chemical drugs, smoke, and radiations, the production and concentration of reactive oxygen species significantly increases in our body and oxidative stress occurs.
Oxidative stress causes damage to cell structures, DNA, lipids and proteins. In severe conditions, the damage caused by oxidative stress can lead to chronic diseases like:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Inflammatory diseases
- Neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
This damage also leads to ageing and age-related illnesses.
Preventing Oxidative Stress
We can prevent oxidative stress by living a healthy and stable lifestyle; the following are some ways in which the damage caused by oxidative stress can be prevented:
- Consuming natural antioxidants (eating fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants).
- Regular exercise (not too heavy and exhaustive).
- Having enough sleep.
- Keeping exposure to pollution, chemicals, smoke and radiations to minimum.
- Avoiding smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol.
- Reducing the consumption of drugs and processed and refined foods.
- Reducing or avoiding intake of artificial sweeteners, dyes or colors used in foods, unhealthy fat and additives (as they lead to accumulation of chemicals in our body, some may even be carcinogenic in nature).
Now you know about the significant role the antioxidants play in the proper functioning of our body, let us take a look at what they actually are and how you can use them to your benefits.
Antioxidants and the benefits they offer
Antioxidants are chemical substances that reduce reactive oxygen species like free radicals and peroxides, thus as a result they prevent damage caused by oxidative stress in our body. Our body produces antioxidants like glutathione at cellular levels. In order to avoid oxidative stress and maintain balance between reactive oxygen species and antioxidants, we must take sufficient antioxidants through our diet.
Some well known and essential antioxidants that we can get from fruits and vegetables are:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Lutein, etc.
Apart from these, there are many important antioxidants present in plant based foods like polyphenols, flavonoids, etc. Fruits and vegetables that have a rich colour are good sources of antioxidants.
Though antioxidants supplements are available in the market, we must be cautious when taking them. Such artificial supplements should only be taken after consultation with a medical doctor. It is advised to take antioxidants from natural sources such as plant based foods as they contain a variety of antioxidants in sufficient amounts as compared to artificial sources that may contain just one antioxidant in higher amounts.
At Altveda, we provide a great source of natural plant based antioxidants in the form of Amla extract capsules. Amla, also known as Indian Gooseberry, is an edible fruit which has been widely used in the traditional Indian system of Ayurvedic medicine. Its fruit, which is edible and has a diverse medicinal use, is rich in ascorbic acid (vitamin C), hydrolysable tannins, amino acids, and contains several bioactive phytochemicals, of which majority are of polyphenols (ellagic acid, chebulinic acid, gallic acid, chebulagic acid, apigenin, quercetin, corilagin, luteolin, etc.) It also contains citric acid, pectin, and a few flavonoids and alkaloids.
The plant species is native to India, also growing in Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, South East Asia, and China nowadays. The extract of its globular, yellowish-green fruit is extensively studied and investigated for its therapeutic potentials against various age related diseases. It is known to have anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, nephrotoxicity modulation, cryoprotective, and hepatoprotective properties.
Amla is a potent rejuvenator and is useful in stalling degenerative and senescence processes, promoting longevity, enhancing digestion, treating constipation, reducing fever, purifying the blood, reducing cough, alleviating asthma, strengthening the heart, benefiting the eyes, stimulating hair growth, enlivening the body, and enhancing intellect.
Benefits of Amla(Indian Gooseberry) as an Anti-Oxidant-
- Prevents Ageing: The rejuvenating properties of Amla helps in preventing ageing of the body and maintaining its strength.
- Improves Eye Vision: The extract of Amla is useful in preserving eyesight. It is beneficial in the treatment of conjunctivitis and glaucoma. It also reduces intraocular tension effectively.
- Boosts Skin and Hair Health: As Amla strengthens digestion, helps the liver detoxify, and is rich in Vitamin C and other minerals, it is very good for the complexion. Amla moisturizes the skin, cleanses the tissues of toxins, and supports immunity of the skin against bacterial infection. It helps to enhance glow and luster. It boosts absorption of calcium, thus creating healthier bones, teeth, nails, and hair. It also helps to maintain youthful hair color and retards premature graying, and supports the strength of the hair follicles, so there is less thinning with age.
- Controls Blood Sugar Level: Amla has anti-hyperglycemic effects. Amla fruit extract interferes with absorption of glucose in the gut and thus, delays the entry of glucose in the blood. Thus, it prevents a sudden spike in blood glucose levels post meal. It further delays the digestion of glucose.
- Improves Digestion and Immunity: The regular use of Amla-Berry can strengthen digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food. It promotes stomach health and prevents diction related problems. It is known as an energy booster and helps strengthen immunity by increasing the white blood cells count in blood.
- Improves Cardiovascular and liver Health: Amla is rich in Vitamin C and helps control blood pressure, and thus, helps in treating hypertension. It is considered an effective remedy for heart disease. It tones up the functions of all the organs of the body and builds up health by destroying the heterogeneous or harmful and disease causes elements. It also renews energy. The strong antioxidant nature of Amla makes it potent liver-protective substance against free radicals and reactive oxygen species. The high content of ascorbic acid present in it has a great ability to counteract the toxic effects, which may be caused by chemicals, certain metal salts, drug overdose or over intake of alcohol.
- Boosts Memory and Brain Health: Amla-Berry is good for the brain. It nurtures the mind and enhances coordination among acquisition, retention, and recall. It helps sharpen the intellect and mental functioning. It supports the nervous system and strengthens the senses.
- Purifies Blood: Amla is hematogenic (helps in formation of red blood cells) and an antioxidant, and thus, helps in purifying and enriching the blood by increasing iron absorption.
- Helps the urinary system: It helps in proper functioning of the urinary system and eliminating the waste from the body.
- Acts as a body coolant: Amla has a sour taste and strong cooling property, which means; it reduces heat and produces a cooling sensation in the body. It should not be used in a condition of common cold, productive cough, skin dryness and joint pain that aggravates by cold environments.
To ensure good health we must include adequate antioxidants in our diet and live a healthy, stable, and stress free lifestyle.
Devendra Barange is an active member of the Altveda team and is responsible for content writing as well as content management. When not writing or working, he takes pleasure in reading classic novels.
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