Global leader in natural ingredients, Nexira shares how antioxidants neutralize free radicals and help prevent oxidative stress in the body. Natural antioxidants from real fruit powders may help promote a well-balanced oxidative balance and complete this anti-oxidation process.
What are antioxidants and why are they important?
Oxidation is a natural process that consists of the metabolization of oxygen in the body, which can produce byproducts. Free radicals are highly reactive substances produced through this oxidation process. Free radicals are unstable and will steal electrons from other molecules, significantly altering their structures. If they are present at high levels, they can damage the cells and alter proteins, lipids, and DNA. (Harvard School of Public Health, 2012)
The body naturally produces free radicals during exercise and normal processes like digestion and absorption of food. Oxidation can also be accelerated by stress, exposure to sunlight, air pollution and cigarette smoke. These situations may cause an overproduction of free radicals, which can lead to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a condition of the body that will promote this chain reaction, and so the formation of more free radicals.
Our bodies have mechanisms to regulate oxidative stress and quench free radicals. Some exogenic nutrients and non-nutrients, called antioxidants, also act as inactivators of these molecules. Antioxidants are naturally found in many fruits and vegetables. They will play a role in well-balancing the oxidative balance, preventing the oxidation process and helping regulate oxidative stress pathways. Antioxidants also play a role in DNA repair mechanisms and the maintenance of cells. Keeping a healthy lifestyle regarding nutrition and environment (physical activity) is also important to prevent oxidative stress. (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health,)(Harvard Health Publishing, 2019)
How does the body use antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules that delay or inhibit the oxidation process by breaking the chain reaction of free radicals. Their ability to give an electron or hydrogen to free radicals will make them become stable. The free radical does not act as an oxidative molecule anymore. Antioxidants also can form complexes with lipids. There are many different types of natural antioxidants and each one has specific chemical and biological properties. It is important to diversify your diet to consume all the different types. The most common natural antioxidants in foods are vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and phenolic compounds including polyphenols (flavonoids, anthocyanins) and carotenoids (beta-carotene, lycopene).
Studies show that antioxidants better work as a team called the antioxidant system. This synergetic system acts to prevent the damaging effect of free radicals and toxin products on cells. It means that antioxidants from whole foods, like fruits and vegetables, are more effective than isolated antioxidants from supplements.
Considering the interest in natural antioxidants for body metabolism, Nexira offers a powerful range of sensory ingredients: POW(D)ER. These nutrient-dense ingredients include powders rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Discover our superfood powders and their antioxidant properties! (Yadav et al., 2016) (Harvard School of Public Health, 2012)
POW(D)ER: a range of antioxidant-rich ingredients
Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant not synthesized in the human body. The vitamin has the ability to neutralize free radicals before they start the oxidation of lipids. Vitamin C inhibits oxidative damage in the aqueous phase and can recycle and regenerate other antioxidants like vitamin E. (Yadav et al., 2016) Vitamin C also is an essential cofactor in collagen biosynthesis, a structural protein found in bone, cartilage and skin. Ascorbic acid may prevent oxidative stress and help boost the body’s immune system. (Cahill et El-Sohemy, 2011)
Multiple natural foods are rich in vitamin C, especially colorful fruits. Nexira offers a wide range of antioxidant-dense ingredients including fruit powders – Camu camu (20% vitamin C) and Goji juice powder – Acerola (17% vitamin C), Lemon and Pineapple; Maqui Berry freeze-dried powder and Baobab pulp powder.
Increase your daily vitamin C intake and contribute to your overall health with our delightful Maquiberry Smoothie, a blend of taste and nutrition! This smoothie is a concentrate of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and fiber. Our easy and delicious recipe includes our Visionary MaquiBerry and a few cups of fresh or frozen berries. Cheers to good health and great taste!
Polyphenols are a large group of natural molecules present in plants. They are chemically composed of multiple phenol units. Polyphenols have many recognized health benefits: reducing the formation of free radicals, oxidative stress, and inflammation. They may also have anti-aging properties. (Chaiwangyen et al., 2023)
Flavonoids are a group of polyphenols, characterized by the flavan nucleus (chemical basic structure). Flavonoids are antioxidant compounds and work with vitamin C to reduce oxidative stress conditions in the aqueous phase of cells. Studies demonstrated that flavonoids have anti-inflammatory and anti-aging activity, and may slow down some of the effects of aging. Flavonoids and in general, polyphenols, promote overall good health. Nexira’s ingredients like Baobab pulp and Pineapple juice powders contain a high content of natural flavonoids.
Many different phenolic compounds are part of flavonoids, including Anthocyanin and Betacyanin.
Anthocyanin is easily recognizable as it gives a deep red-to-blue color to fruits and vegetables. This common pigment is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, as well as global health-promoting properties. (Kang et al., 2019) Nexira carefully selects and processes anthocyanin-rich ingredients into functional powders. Most berries like Bilberry, Cranberry, Elderberry, Blackcurrant and Açai are some examples of ingredients rich in antioxidants offered by Nexira. Concord grape and Pomegranate also have a naturally high content of anthocyanins.
Betacyanin is a red-violet colored pigment that belongs to the betalain group of pigments. They replace the anthocyanin molecules in fruits such as Dragon fruit and Prickly pear. Their antioxidant activity to quench free radicals is well-known as they are part of flavonoids. (Zeece, 2020)
The high content of betacyanin explains the vibrant color of our delicious Dragon fruit lemonade. This refreshing and nutritious drink is a summer essential to keep you hydrated! The lemonade has an invigorating tropical flavor and is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants like betacyanins. Sip on the exotic allure of our Dragon Fruit Lemonade!
Other phenolic compounds that do not belong to the flavonoids are very interesting for their antioxidant properties. Nexira offers two complementary phenols-rich powders: Mangosteen fruit powder, rich in xanthones and Turmeric root powder, rich in curcuminoids. Regular consumption of these nutrient-dense powders from natural whole foods may help prevent and reduce oxidative stress.
Integrating specific natural ingredients may help boost the prevention of oxidative stress and the formation of free radicals in the body. As we explained in this article, natural ingredient powders are an interesting solution to increasing food intake of many antioxidants, such as flavonoids and vitamin C. Nexira developed these products as part of POW(D)ER from Mother Nature, an innovative range of powerful ingredients. The nutrient-dense range of powders from Nexira is 100% natural and minimally processed.
Join Nexira on this sensory journey encompassing taste, texture, and color – and start creating nutrition that is evolutive with market trends, harnessing the powerful forces of nature in recognizable superfoods – in a whole new way!
Chaiwangyen, W., Chumphukam, O., Kangwan, N., Pintha, K., et Suttajit, M., 2023. Chapter 8 – Anti-aging effect of polyphenols: possibilities and challenges. In Pandey, K.B., Suttajit, M. Plant Bioactives as Natural Panacea Against Age-Induced Diseases. p. 147-179.
Harvard Health Publishing., 2019. Understanding antioxidants In Harbard Medical School [en ligne]. Date de consultation : 01/11/2023. Disponible sur : <https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-antioxidants>
Harvard School of Public Health., 2012. Antioxidants In The Nutrition Source [en ligne]. Date de consultation : 01/11/2023. Disponible sur : <https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/antioxidants/>
Kang, I., Lee, Y., et Lee, M., 2019. Chapter 28 – Anthocyanins: What They Are and How They Relate to Obesity Prevention. In Watson, R.R. Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Abdominal Obesity (Second Edition). p. 409-430.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Antioxidant Supplements: What You Need To Know In NCCIH [en ligne]. Date de consultation : 01/11/2023. Disponible sur : <https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/antioxidant-supplements-what-you-need-to-know>
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