There is growing awareness about the importance of physical exercise for our overall health.
Exercising daily is not only beneficial in terms of staying fit and losing weight; it also brings psychological benefits by promoting the production of endorphins.
However, we have to be particularly careful with the intensity with which we perform certain exercises since body tissues can be affected by the free radicals produced, especially when overexercising.
What are free radicals?
Free radicals are reactive compounds, in general oxygenated, which cause oxidative damage to the cells that make up the muscle tissues of our body. They are necessary for certain functions and maintaining general health, but the production of free radicals over time can have negative effects because they alter the membranes of cells and genetic material
In the case of athletes, this situation increases, because when you exercise, 20% more oxygen is consumed than under normal circumstances. That is why antioxidant foods are extremely important in the diet of athletes and sports players.
The power of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are necessary because they help protect the body from free radicals. The main antioxidants include:
Vitamin C: The best way to incorporate this vitamin into your diet is through fruits and vegetables such as kiwi, mango, pineapple, persimmon, citrus, melon, strawberries, sweet peppers, tomato and vegetables in the cabbage family.
Vitamin E: It is abundant in wheat germ oil, soybean and sunflower oil, the germ of cereals or whole grain cereals, olive oil, leafy green vegetables and dried fruits and nuts.
Selenium: Found in meat, fish, seafood, cereals, eggs, fruit and vegetables.
Beta-carotene or “provitamin A”: The following foods are rich in beta carotene: green or red -orange-yellow vegetables (carrot, spinach, pumpkin, etc) and certain fruit (apricots, cherries, melon and peach).
Zinc: Zinc is an essential element for growth and development. It is found in relatively large amounts in our muscles. We can find it in foods such as cocoa, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, mushrooms, spinach and whole grains.
If you eat a balanced diet containing these foods, rich in fruit and vegetables, cereals, fish, and low in fat, you can prevent and reduce the harmful effects of unchecked production of free radicals in your body.