Regular consumption of foods like berries, tomatoes, garlic, green tea, broccoli, and among many others is good for the body because these foods are rich in antioxidants.
However, it’s not just eating foods and taking essential supplements that can provide the body with antioxidant because according to one study, regular yoga practice can do boost the body’s antioxidants.
Antioxidants are vital for our body for fighting free radicals that can cause oxidative stress and damage to the cells, which can eventually lead to diseases and faster aging.
But, before we go into some details of the study, let’s us first learn how an excess of free radicals can damage the cells of our body if not address earlier.
Now that you have a good picture of how helpful the antioxidants are, I guess you can now value the importance of performing regular yoga practice.
The study published at Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine back in July 2015, found that a consistent practice of yoga for a 12 weeks period boosted the body’s level of antioxidants while keeping the oxidative stress minimal.
Although, the study only focuses on yoga’s effect, but for sure when combined with meditation, we have a natural and potent way of protecting ourselves against excessive of free radicals.
If you’re thinking you’re not going to make it because you don’t have experience in yoga? Think again! The researchers in the study didn’t recruit expert yoga practitioners. The participants were divided into two groups.
One group is assigned to practice yoga for 12 weeks in which during this time they met with a yoga instructor and instructed to continue practice yoga at home with yoga DVD tutorial.
On the other hand, the other group was assigned to perform different forms of exercise. After the 12 week period has ended, blood samples were collected in order to establish the results.
And, the researchers concluded;
Regular yoga practice remarkably attenuated oxidative stress and improved antioxidant levels of the body. Moreover, yoga beneficially affected stress hormone releases as well as partially improved immune function.
Antioxidants according to the NCCIH are naturally potent preventive medicine against free radicals. You might be thinking this is the first study to find yoga boosting the body’s antioxidants.
Well, it’s not the first and only study. A previous study conducted back in 2012 on healthy university students concluded;
…regular yoga training efficiently help to strengthen the antioxidant systems and decreased the oxidative stress for maintaining well-being life and yoga will have protective or therapeutically effects against the oxidative stresses derived diseases.
In 2007, one study also found yoga to boost glutathione, which is a form of antioxidant, which experts considered as one of the most important antioxidant in the body.
As a matter of fact, Dr. Mark Hyman called it “The Mother of all Antioxidants”. You can get glutathione as most people know through supplementation, but now you know where to get it from a different source, Yoga!
More Evidence On Benefits Of Regular Yoga Practice (based on studies);
- Acute and Chronic Effects of Tantric Yoga Practice on Distress Index
- Effects of Yoga on Heart Rate Variability and Mood in Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial
- Iyengar Yoga Therapy Intervention for Ischial Pressure Ulcers in a Patient with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Case Study
- A Single Session of an Integrated Yoga Program as a Stress Management Tool for School Employees: Comparison of Daily Practice and Nondaily Practice of a Yoga Therapy Program
- A Comparative Study Of Antioxidant Status In Yoga And Normal Adult Males
- Effect of 3-Month Yoga on Oxidative Stress in Type 2 Diabetes With or Without Complications:A controlled clinical trial
- Satish G Patil, Gopal B Dhanakshirur, Manjunatha R Aithala, Govindanagouda Naregal, Kusal K Das, EFFECT OF YOGA ON OXIDATIVE STRESS IN ELDERLY WITH GRADE-I HYPERTENSION: A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED STUDY.Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research [serial online]2014 Jul[cited:2016 Feb 9] 7 BC04 – BC07
A regular and well-rounded yoga practice could be a valuable means of maximizing and boosting your body’s antioxidants level. Throughout the course of the study as noted by the researchers, participants performed more than just doing yoga postures. The yoga activity included 35 minutes of Asanas(yoga body poses), 30 minutes of Pranayama(deep breathing exercises), and 25 minutes of meditation.