Beef, chicken, and pork are some of the most popular protein sources in our daily diets. Not only are they delicious and a great source of essential nutrients, but recent research has found that they are also unique sources of antioxidants. People need antioxidants to help combat oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress is when the body’s natural antioxidant defenses are overwhelmed by too many free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage cells. These antioxidants can help protect the body from free radicals that can cause cellular damage and contribute to chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Antioxidants also occur naturally in the body through certain enzymes, but it’s important to get adequate amounts from dietary sources to make sure your body has enough protection against oxidative stress.
What certain chemical compounds were discovered?
The first 2-oxo-imidazole-containing dipeptides (2-oxo-IDPs), which have one more oxygen atom than typical IDPs, were found by a research team led by Professor Hideshi Ihara from the Osaka Metropolitan University Graduate School of Science. They were later found to be the most prevalent type of IDP derivatives in the body. Also, scientists discovered that they have very strong antioxidant activity.
In their work, the researchers developed a technique for the quantitative detection of trace 2-oxo-IDPs in living creatures that allows for the selective and highly sensitive identification of five different forms of 2-oxo-IDPs using mass spectrometry.
By employing this technique, scientists were able to demonstrate for the first time that beef, pork, chicken, and other meats contain antioxidants, including a range of 2-oxo-IDPs in addition to IDPs. Their research was published in the journal Antioxidants.
What actions reduce antioxidant levels?
Certain lifestyle factors can increase the amount of oxidative stress our bodies experience; smoking cigarettes or living in heavily polluted areas both contribute to the increased production of free radicals. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is one way to ensure you’re getting enough antioxidants to keep your cells safe from damage. Regular exercise also helps support antioxidant function within the body as it increases circulation and reduces inflammation.
Without sufficient levels of antioxidants in our bodies we run the risk of developing chronic diseases due to cellular damage caused by high levels of oxidative stress. This is because when there aren’t enough antioxidants available to neutralize the free radicals they end up attacking healthy cells which can lead to cell death or mutations that can cause genetic illness or cancers down the line. Studies have linked low levels of antioxidant nutrients with numerous conditions including dementia, stroke, and infertility so it’s clearly important to make sure your diet contains enough foods rich in these molecules!
What are other sources of antioxidants?
Many fruits and vegetables are naturally high in antioxidants, making them an excellent source of nutrition. For example, berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and cranberries are packed with powerful polyphenols that can help fight disease-causing free radicals. Other fruits such as apples, oranges, pomegranates, and cherries are also rich in antioxidants. Vegetables like spinach, kale, carrots, and sweet potatoes contain important antioxidants like polyphenols and carotenoids to boost your overall health.
Nuts and seeds also provide a good amount of antioxidants. Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and pumpkin seeds are all excellent sources of polyphenols that can help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Legumes such as lentils, black beans, and kidney beans are another great option for adding antioxidants to your diet.
Dark chocolate is also a surprising source of antioxidants – the darker the better! The antioxidant content comes from cocoa content which is usually around 70% or higher to be considered dark chocolate. Eating dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa can significantly improves the antioxidant level in your body compared to milk chocolate which contains little or no cocoa content.
Coffee is another food rich in beneficial antioxidants – both caffeinated coffee, as well as decaf coffee, can provide you with added nutrients thanks to their strong antioxidant levels. Green tea is another beverage packed with healthy antioxidants that can fight free radicals while also providing you with added benefits such as improved mental alertness due to its caffeine content. Lastly, herbs like oregano and turmeric have high levels of antioxidants that can be added easily to any meal for nutritional benefit.