Antioxidants and their Importance
Over the past decade a huge increase in awareness and importance has been placed on human health. Food and the role that is plays within our bodies is under the microscope and more research is being devoted to the impact that types of foods can have on improving the quality of life and additional physiological benefits such as delaying and reversing chronic diseases. Phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables are substances that have attracted a lot of attention due to their role in preventing diseases caused in oxidative stress. The regular consumption of foods high in antioxidants (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes and herbal seasonings) is now associated with substantial health benefits.
What are Antioxidants
Antioxidants are powerful free radical scavengers in the body. Free radical damage is one of the most prominent causes of some of our most lethal diseases. Free radicals naturally occur within the body as a result of chemical reactions during normal cellular process for example the conversion of food into energy by our bodies. They can also be in response to environmental factors i.e. pollution, agrichemical exposure, smoking etc. Poor diet, stress and inefficient sleep are some other at home factors, which accelerate free radical damage. The human bodies defense system involves the production of antioxidants which are either made by antioxidant enzymes in our bodies or processed from the food we eat. These then soak up the free radicals turning them into harmless particles and then waste we can get rid of. Foods that tend to be high in antioxidants and other phytonutrients include fruits, vegetables and grains. The most well-known antioxidants are vitamins A, C and F, beta carotene and selenium.
How Using EM produces Antioxidants in the Soil
EM helps to produce antioxidant substances such as inositol, ubiquinone, saponin, low molecular polysaccharides, polyphenols and chelates of minerals. These antioxidant substances, which are now proven to develop disease suppression even in humans, are formed with the application of EM. This in turn allows the multiplication of beneficial microbes, while inhibiting the harmful species.
The antioxidant substances formed by EM in the decomposition and fermentation of organic matter has the capacity of detoxifying harmful substances. They suppress harmful reactions by deionization of hazardous substances and also promote the chelation of heavy metals such as iron and induce microbes to secrete decomposing enzymes such as lignin peroxidase. Such enzymes have the capacity to decompose residual agrochemicals and even dioxin in soils. Thus, if EM is used with organic matter in soils, which have been heavily contaminated with pesticides or have high concentrations of Dioxin, they are detoxified within 2-3 seasons.
How EM increases Antioxidants in Plants
EM boosts the microbial activity in the Rhizosphere, Microorganisms are rich source of bioactive compounds and antioxidants which get supplied to plants. EM will also enhance plant growth and health through providing crucial nutrients and enzymes crucial for healthy plant development. In addition they will also suppress plant diseases by outcompeting pathogens in the soil and releasing metabolites into the rhizosphere that may inhibit various pathogens as biocontrol agents. EM will also boost a plants photosynthesis response which will also increase the production of these same antioxidants–vitamins, polyphenols, carotenoids, xanthophylls, and others.
This study, published in the Agriculture Journal on the science and technology of crop and animal production, looked at the Productivity and Nutritional Trait Improvements of Different Tomatoes Cultivated with EM and Biodynamic preparations. It showed an increase of plant productivity as well as an enhanced antioxidant activity in varieties treated with EM technology. Moreover, the polyphenol and carotenoid contents also changed, in response to the plant treatments.
Yield Tables including showing increase yield and brix:
The below graphs show the Anitoxidant data. This showed that among all varieties, Brandywine and San Marzano Antico treated with EM revealed an increase of antioxidant capacity in the three fractions (lipophilic
A, methanolic B, and hydrophilic C) compared with CONTROL and BIO Dynamic treatments.