While most have heard the term antioxidants, fewer people know the meaning of the term or the impact of antioxidants on human health. Ultraviolet light and radiation are critical in forming unpaired molecules in the atmosphere, known as free radicals. Free radicals benefit the delicate balance of gases and other substances creating the environment; however, when these materials become unstable, they promote illness and disease. Antioxidants protect cells by interfering with free radical compounds, lessening or slowing down their adverse effects on the body. 

Reducing Free Radical Damage

Research is ongoing, but scientists are looking at the role free radicals compounds play in DNA damage leading to mutations that increase risks for severe health conditions like heart disease and certain types of cancer. Inflammatory joint disease, senile dementia, and diabetes are a few of the conditions linked to free radical reactions inside the body. But there are ways of increasing the level of antioxidants in the body to help fight damage caused by free radicals, and consuming eucalyptus tea is a simple way to boost your intake.

As a genus, eucalyptus covers hundreds of species of flowering trees. Ancient cultures have used the ointments and extracts from these trees to fight respiratory ailments for thousands of years. Many cultures worldwide use the oils from eucalyptus leaves to treat boils or other lesions on the skin, along with arthritis and other painful joint dysfunctions.

Deliciously Boost Antioxidant Intake in the Kitchen

Increasing health by fostering antioxidant intake may be as simple as paying a visit to the spice cabinet in your kitchen. Thyme, rosemary, and sage contain high levels of disease-fighting compounds and are excellent sources of antioxidants, as proven by recent studies. While ginger, cinnamon, and oregano are beneficial dietary additions for those interested in dietary antioxidant improvements, increasing the consumption of clove, perhaps in muffins, or sweetbreads, provides the most significant result.

Dark chocolate, red wine, and peanuts are all great sources of a specific type of antioxidant called resveratrol. Resveratrol has shown promise in laboratory studies for its positive effect on blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Several recent studies on this compound demonstrate anti-aging and lifespan-lengthening properties in some animals. Studies are underway to determine if these same benefits are transferrable to humans. 

Antioxidant Sources in the Garden

Fruits and vegetables are some of the highest-concentrated sources of antioxidants known, and including a variety of these healthy options in the diet packs a solid nutritional punch in the fight against neurodegenerative ailments like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. Antioxidants found naturally in fruits, and vegetables are also used to treat stroke and other brain injuries. 

Pink grapefruit, apple, and tomato juice are good antioxidant sources, but if coffee or tea is more to your liking, those beverages also contain high amounts. Both green tea and black tea, along with coffee, help increase antioxidant intake; be careful when adding milk, which can block the beneficial actions of the compounds. 

A diet rich in plant-based foods provides the body with powerful tools to repair the damage and fight the disease and illnesses caused by free radicals. Daily eating plans containing a variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, give the body valuable resources of vitamins and minerals to remain as healthy as possible.