Antioxidants are a group of compounds that can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage cells and contribute to the development of chronic diseases.
When cells are damaged by free radicals, it can lead to inflammation, which is the body’s natural response to protect itself from further harm. However, inflammation that persists for an extended period of time can be harmful to the body and is a characteristic of many chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Research has suggested that antioxidants may have a role in reducing inflammation. Because antioxidants protect tissues from damage, they prevent unwanted inflammatory responses from occurring in the first place.
Some studies have found that antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene can reduce levels of inflammatory markers in the blood. Other studies have suggested that certain plant compounds like quercetin and curcumin may have anti-inflammatory effects.
However, it is important to note that while antioxidants can be beneficial in reducing inflammation, they may not be effective in treating all types of inflammation. In contrast to this, we have other nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, that play a role in the inflammatory response itself.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects by reducing the production of inflammatory molecules in the body. These fatty acids can be found in fatty fish like salmon, as well as in plant sources like flaxseed and chia seeds.
While antioxidants can be helpful in reducing inflammation by protecting tissues from damage and preventing unwanted inflammatory responses, they may not be effective in treating all types of inflammation.
Other nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids may also play a role in the inflammatory response, and it is important to have a balanced intake of both antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory nutrients to maintain optimal health.