Can Antioxidants Boost Your Immune System?
Antioxidants are a great reason to eat a few extra bites of dark chocolate or drink a bottle of Purpose Tea. And, in reality, you don’t have to fully understand how that dark chocolate and purple tea’s antioxidants affect your immune system. But when you do, you will enjoy these delicious treats just a bit more. That’s because antioxidants are a treat for your immune system and your mind and body as a whole.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are one of the most misunderstood nutritional elements but are also one of the most vital. In simple terms, antioxidants are molecules that battle and neutralize free radicals. These small-but-mighty molecules (sometimes called “micronutrients”) are present in your body and found in plant-based foods like blueberries, cocoa, Kenyan purple tea, and eggplant (the antioxidant flavanoid, anthocyanin, creates purple, blue, or red hues in foods and is abundant in purple tea). They cling to free radicals to stabilize them.
How Do Antioxidants Work?
To understand how antioxidants work, it’s important to know about free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms because they’re missing an electron pair. Over time, these atoms look to pair their electrons and bond with other atoms in the body, the most harmful being split oxygen molecules, which begin the oxidative stress process. This process damages the body’s cell membranes, enzymes, and DNA, causing progressed aging and increased risk for diseases (most commonly heart disease and cancer). Antioxidants cling to these free radicals and neutralize them as they form and after they’ve begun their damaging journey through the body.
In other words, antioxidants can work in three different ways:
- They can prevent the release of certain free radicals that are created by natural chemical reactions inside your body.
- They can also “scavenge” or soak up the free radicals that are created in your body by unnatural chemical reactions, like those caused by cigarette smoke or radiation.
- If all else fails, antioxidants will attack the free radical molecules, causing them to break down faster than they naturally would.
When you consume a food high in antioxidants, you’re increasing your body’s ability to fight free radicals.
How Do Antioxidants Help the Immune System?
The immune system relies on cells to be able to communicate with one another. Free radicals break the chain of communication by damaging cells. Oxidative tissues (those damaged by free radicals) are particularly harmful to the immune system's ability to defend the body’s healthy cells and fight off infection. Scientific studies demonstrate that antioxidants improve the effectiveness of the immune system.
How Can You Tell If Your Immune System Needs a Boost?
First, giving your immune system a little extra pep is always a good idea. But if your immune system is weakened or suppressed you could be vulnerable to infection by germs, bacteria, and even viruses. Strengthening your immune system can protect you and keep you feeling great. How can you tell if your immune system is a well-oil machine or if it could use a little extra love?
Five Symptoms of a Weakened Immune System
- Fatigue and feeling over-tired throughout the day
- Frequent colds
- Tummy issues like heartburn and diarrhea
- Muscle soreness and joint pain
- Anxiety and stress
Treat Your Body to a Blast of Antioxidants
As we mentioned, you can find antioxidants in a wide array of veggies, fruits, and plants. They can even be found in milk, lean meats, and nuts.
Some treats from the earth, though, have reputations for being at the top of their class for antioxidant levels. These include:
- Tea, particularly Kenyan purple tea
- Goji berries
Purple Tea Is Packed with Antioxidants
Tea is a rare source of flavonoids, one of the most powerful antioxidants you can find. Purpose Tea is an antioxidant assassin, scavenging free radicals at 51% compared to 34% with green tea. Talk about a powerful boost to your immune system!
What other superpowers does Kenyan purple tea have? Learn more about all the goodness Purpose Tea has to offer. Here’s to your health!