Globally, there is a rise in chronic disease as a result of the increase in the number of senior citizens. Although certain aspects of chronic disease are still obscure, researchers are confident that the chief cause of these chronic ailments is oxidative stress. How does this process take place?
Our bodies use oxygen for many vital functions. Although life is sustained by oxygen, chemical reactions involving oxygen produce free radicals, a class of molecules that can cause significant damage to the body. As these free radicals have unpaired electrons, they become stable by taking an electron from another molecule and making that molecule a free radical. The same process continues as each free radical becomes stable by creating more free radicals. As a result of this process, the cells in the body get damaged, leading to many chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
Anti-oxidants are compounds that neutralize these free radicals and as a result, prevent oxidative stress. Owing to this particular feature, health professionals are recommending a diet rich in anti-oxidants to avoid chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
The eyes are also damaged by oxidative stress. Two of the most common chronic ailments of the eyes are cataracts and macular degeneration. A cataract is a cloudy area on the lens of the eye that is formed when oxidative stress causes the proteins of the eye to cluster on the lens. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness. In macular degeneration, the macula, the small central area of the retina, becomes damaged as a result of aging. As the macula enables us to view the fine details of objects, the consequence of macular degeneration is a loss in the ability to perform tasks like reading and watching television.
Fortunately, many anti-oxidants present not only in food but also in nutritional supplements can fight the oxidative stress and as a result, prevent conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts from occurring. The list below describes these anti-oxidants.
The Zeaxanthin and Lutein benefit is that the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration can be reduced. Both these compounds are present in significant amounts in the macula.
Vitamin E: There is considerable evidence that Vitamin E, a powerful anti-oxidant, can reduce the damage caused by free radicals and as a result, reduce the effects of aging. The degenerative conditions of the eyes can be prevented by consuming adequate amounts of this Vitamin.
Zinc: By enhancing the absorption of Vitamin A, a nutrient responsible for keeping the cornea healthy, zinc is a necessary component of a diet that boosts eye health.
It is recommended that the public includes these anti-oxidants as a regular part of the diet to improve eye health.