Antioxidants are substances capable of preventing or inhibiting the processes of cell damage which are often caused by oxidants. The name ‘antioxidant’ is directly derived from the functions of the substances in working against the effects of oxidants. Antioxidant foods promote weight loss through the aid of different mechanisms. Apart from the promotion of weight loss, antioxidants also lower the risks of various types of diseases.
Many of the substances with high level of antioxidants are known to have low calories; hence, they are suitable for anyone in need of healthy substances that promote weight loss. Antioxidants neutralize the effects of free radicals in the body; thereby, preventing cell damages. With this, the byproducts of calories in the body are easily converted into energy which is now burnt to ensure loss of weight.
Antioxidant food versus supplements: What are their sources?
Antioxidant foods are food substances that naturally contain antioxidant properties while supplements are man-made dietary substances with antioxidant properties. Antioxidant foods are naturally occurring in food substances, and vegetables and fruits have been established as their main sources. Examples of foods with antioxidant properties are egg plants, broccoli, pumpkins, apples, onion, Brazil nuts, avocado, tomatoes, plums, Brussels sprouts, carrots, walnut, prunes, cauliflower and spinach. Coenzyme Q10, L-Glutathione, Acetyl carnitine and conjugate Linoleic acid are some of the common antioxidant supplements we have.
Antioxidant foods versus supplements: How do they promote weight loss?
Both antioxidant foods and supplements work through familiar mechanisms, and these mechanisms are:
- Increase in the rate of burning fats: Antioxidant substances increase the rate at which fats within the body are burnt, resulting into loss of body fat.
- Reduction in appetite: The urge to eat becomes lowered; hence, lower amount of calories will be consumed.
- Reduction in absorption of fat: This ensures that fewer calories are needed by the body to perform its biological functions.
Antioxidant foods versus supplements: What are their components?
The major difference between antioxidant foods and supplements lies in the amount of phytochemicals found in them. Phytochemicals are active compounds found inside antioxidants that make it possible for them to perform the biological functions they are known for. Antioxidant foods have different kinds of phytochemicals in them; therefore, they provide a wide of range of benefits. Supplements, on the other hand, have limited amounts of phytochemicals; hence, their functions are largely limited. Some of these phytochemicals in antioxidant substances do not work when isolated, so an antioxidant supplement with one or few antioxidants may perform little or no functions when taken.
Conclusively, though there is no crime in taking antioxidant supplements to speed up the rate of weight loss, they should never be seen as the ultimate substances to be taken in when there is need to lose weight. Instead of depending on antioxidant supplements, antioxidant foods should be given more attention as they have more phytochemicals which are going to act as catalysts for weight loss. Basically, antioxidant supplements should only be seen as alternatives when antioxidant foods with the right phytochemicals are unavailable.