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Antioxidants Explained in Simple Terms
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Antioxidants Explained in Simple Terms
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Antioxidants Explained in Simple Terms

    What are antioxidants?


    Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals are compounds that can cause harm if they

are too high in your body. They are related to a variety of diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Your body

has its own antioxidant defense system to control free radicals.


    However, antioxidants ingredients are also present in foods,

especially in fruits, vegetables and other whole plant foods. Several vitamins, such as vitamins E and C, are effective

antioxidants. Antioxidant preservatives also play a vital role in food production by extending shelf life.


   



    How do free radicals work


    Free radicals are constantly forming in your body. Without antioxidants, free radicals can quickly cause serious damage

and eventually death. However, free radicals also have important functions vital to health. For example, your immune cells

use free radicals to fight infection. Therefore, your body needs to maintain a certain balance between free radicals and

antioxidants. When the number of free radicals exceeds that of antioxidants, it leads to a state called oxidative stress.


    Prolonged oxidative stress can damage your DNA and other important molecules in your body. Sometimes it even leads to

cell death. DNA damage increases the risk of cancer, and some scientists speculate that it plays a key role in aging. Long-

term oxidative stress can lead to an increased risk of negative health outcomes, such as cardiovascular disease and some

types of cancer.


   



    While COVID accelerated the trend of adding Immunity

Enhancement Ingredients
to processed food, it is not exactly a new concept. Products with such characteristics—think

probiotic yogurt products and gummy bears spiked with zinc and echinacea—have been growing in popularity for years. And food

processors have grown in their understanding of how their products can improve the immune system.


   



   



    Cnidium is a native Chinese plant that has also been identified in the US in Oregon. Cnidium is a Traditional Chinese

Medicine (TCM) that has been used for thousands of years, especially for dermatological conditions. It has been a common

ingredient in Chinese lotions, creams, and ointments. A pro-erectile herb, Cindium monnieri extract and its main bioactive known as osthole appear to have

mechanisms similar to Viagra in penile tissue and the hippocampus. The usable parts of cnidium are the fruit, seed, and whole

plant. Active properties of cnidium are the coumarin derivatives including:


   
       
            Osthol
       
   
   
       
            Imperatorin
       
   
   
       
            Isopimpinellin
       
   
   
       
            Xanthotoxin
       
   
   
       
            Bergapten
       
   


   



    Additional coumarins have also been identified including cnidimonal, cnidimarin, and others. Cnidium is used orally for

increasing sexual performance and libido, erectile dysfunction, infertility, body building, increasing energy, cancer,

osteoporosis, and fungal and bacterial infections. Cnidium is used topically for pruritus, rashes, eczema, and ringworm.


   



    Monk fruit is also called Luo Han Guo or swingle. It looks like a small gourd, and it grows on a vine.


    Monk fruit is native to regions of Southeast Asia, including some parts of Thailand and China. Buddhist monks in the 13th

century were the first to cultivate the fruit, which is the reason for its name.


    Fresh monk fruit spoils rather quickly. Traditionally, people used dried monk fruit in herbal medicines.


    Today, monk fruit is the most popular natural sweetener

ingredients
. The fruit extract contains substances called mogrosides, which are intensely sweet.


    According to the International Food Information Council Foundation, monk fruit is around 150–200 times sweeter than

sugar. Some manufacturers mix the extract with different sugars to balance out the intensity.


    A variety of monk fruit sweeteners are available to purchase online.


   



    Monk fruit pros


    A monk fruit sweetener has several benefits when compared with sugar:


   
       
            Zero calories. Monk fruit

extract
contains no calories, which is helpful for people on diets that restrict a person’s caloric intake.
       
   
   
       
            Zero carbohydrates. The extract also contains no carbohydrates, which may make it ideal for people on low-carb or

keto diets.
       
   
   
       
            Zero sugar. There is no sugar in pure monk fruit extract, which means that consuming it will not affect blood

sugar levels.
       
   
   
       
            No harmful side effects. The
           
                U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Trusted Source
            considers monk fruit sweeteners to be generally regarded as safe. There appears to be no evidence that monk fruit

sweeteners cause harmful side effects.
       
   
   
       
            Available in multiple forms. Monk fruit sweeteners are marketed as granules, powders, and liquids. Some products

may be easy to carry and use throughout the day.
       
   


   



    Nutraceutical ingredients find a wide variety of

applications, such as functional food & beverages, animal nutrition, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products. However,

the inclusion of nutraceutical ingredients in food & beverage products, feed products, pharmaceuticals, and personal care

products results in an increase in the prices of these end products. This, in turn, leads to lower adoption of such products,

thereby stunting market growth. Over the past few years, there has been an increase in the demand for healthy alternatives of

consumables as consumers have become increasingly conscious about the correct diet. Nutraceutical ingredients, when added to

any kind of food & beverage product, result in the formation of functional food & beverages, which, in some way, impart a

health benefit.


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