Antioxidants and Benefits to Your Health
Get back to the basics - eat fresh at home and neutralize free radical oxidation, which is rusting away your body, by eating a variety of foods high in antioxidants every day.
Why? Antioxidants, as the name implies, help prevent oxidation, may help increase immune function and possibly decrease risk of infection and cancer.
A few of the better known antioxidants include carotenoids-- the substance that gives fruits and vegetables their deep rich colors. Apricots, broccoli, pumpkin, cantaloupes, spinach and sweet potatoes, are some good choices in addition to lycopene in tomatoes. Vitamin C and E are also good antioxidants.
What's a Free Radical Anyways?
As cells function normally in the body, they produce damaged molecules called free radicals. These free radicals steal parts from other molecules such as fat, protein, or DNA, thereby spreading the damage.
This damage continues in a chain reaction, and entire cells soon become damaged and die. This process is useful because it helps the body destroy cells that have outlived their usefulness and kills germs and parasites. However, this damage, when left unchecked, also destroys or damages healthy cells.
Antioxidants help prevent widespread cellular destruction by willingly donating their parts to stabilize free radicals. More importantly, antioxidants return to the surface of the cell to stabilize rather than damage other cellular components.
When there are not enough antioxidants to hold cell destruction in check, free radicals begin damaging healthy cells which, in turn, can lead to problems. For example, free radical damage to immune cells can lead to an increased risk of infections.
Your body needs to be able to repair this damage that occurs and protect itself from the free radicals before they impact your overall health. This is where antioxidants come to the rescue, because they significantly delay, inhibit, or prevent oxidation.
Your first line of defence is a natural diet full of a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. For all those times when your diet isn't perfect, make sure you have a safety net in place. Think of antioxidants as Rustoleum for your insides! and be sure to have a supplement in your medicine cabinet.
Best of health to you!