You must have heard or seen this antioxidant word several times, it is one of the most favoured words in the scene of modern nutrition science but Ayurveda always understood the concept much before the alternative form of medicine was born. The Ojas or tej was always mentioned with the herbs, so what exactly does the antioxidant term mean? It could indeed capture the attention of more than 132 million users that went onto search this term on the biggest search engine giant Google.
All about antioxidants
Antioxidants are the essential molecules that help to combat oxidative stress inside the body. In simpler terms, these molecules fight with the free radicals that are responsible for cellular damage in the body. The body needs oxygen in almost all of the physiologic processes either at the cellular level or otherwise but every time a reaction takes place, the transformation is not so smooth, the by-products are formed which are fairly called reactive oxygen species (rOS) or more commonly called as free radicals, these free radicals have the ability to destroy the cells, therefore, slowing down the process of cell repair and overall healing in the body promoting ageing along with lowering immunity based activities. The antioxidants take care of these free radicals, therefore, have extreme rejuvenation capability. They can easily be referred to as the best immunity boosters.
Plant-based nutrition or food is a good source of antioxidants, all the spices that we use in our day to day food along with citrus fruits are rich in antioxidants. They help to neutralise the molecules or atoms of free radicals and prevent any further damage to the cells. Antioxidants are known for their anti-aging properties.
Here are 5 powerful foods and ayurvedic herbs rich in antioxidants.
1.Ashwagandha – This herb is indeed the king in the world of ayurveda with its amazing cell repairing, regenerating and rejuvenation properties. Rich in natural antioxidants it reduces the level of stress hormone, helps you improve your concentration & memory and miraculously improve the immune system.
2.Clove- The eugenol which is the chief chemical constituent of the clove acts as a natural antioxidant. In fact it has been found to have been 5 times more effective than vitamin E itself as an antioxidant. Cloves also contain beta carotene which are known antioxidant molecules and provitamins. These antioxidants not only fight free radicals but also help in reducing the risk of heart disease.
3.Cinnamon- This spice does not just makes your tea spicy or food tasty, it does a lot more than that, cinnamon has large amounts of polyphenol antioxidants which not fight free radicals but have anti inflammatory properties, similarly its prebiotic properties supports the growth of good gut bacterias and help in better digestion.
4.Saffron or Kesar – Any amount of talk is not enough about Kesar, one of most expensive spices on earth. Crocus sativus is a red coloured thread like spice which has a unique flavour and fragrance. The active compounds in the spice that act as antioxidants are impressive, crocin, crocetin, safranal, kaempferol and a lot more. It is not just a powerful antioxidant but show antidepressant and anti-cancer properties as well. Kesar also helps in fat loss.
5. Basil-One of the most common herb in the indian household is an antioxidant powerhouse too. Lutein, zeaxanthin, beta carotene, beta-crypto carotene are a few to mention, sweet basil contains Eugenol and lemon basil contain limonene. The benefits are countless, the reduction in the oxidative stress, blood sugar level control and anti inflammatory power are a few to be talked about. 5 grams of basil just gives you 1 calorie and 0 fat.
The above mentioned herbs are powerful and best Immunity booster medicines for us.