Antioxidants have been used for centuries and they have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks and other health problems. Antioxidants can be found in many foods and you should include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet to get the correct amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants can also be taken in supplement form and they are often called ‘natural antioxidants’ because they offer the same benefits as commercial antioxidants but without the nasty side effects. You can find a variety of antioxidant foods and supplements including berries, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, leafy greens, eggs, fish, tomatoes, salmon, spinach, kale and yellow squash. Here we will discuss the different types of antioxidants and how they can benefit your health.
Natural antioxidants can be found in several foods, but they are particularly abundant in fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants can act as’side-stream’ blockers for free radical molecules, helping to keep them inside our bodies where they cannot cause damage. Antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene, can help to protect our bodies from damage caused by excessive free radicals. They also play an important role in ensuring that the body uses nutrients properly by removing harmful substances from the digestive system, preventing constipation and water retention.
In addition to fruits and vegetables, a number of herbs and spices contain antioxidants. Some common ones include turmeric, ginger, garlic, cumin, rosemary, sage, chives and peppermint. Other herbs and spices include artichokes, black, green and white pepper, parsley, cauliflower, ginger, garlic and tomatoes. Whole grains are full of antioxidants and they contain vitamins A, C, E and B complex.
It is important to consume a balanced diet to maintain healthy physical and mental function. However, there are many instances when the food we eat is deficient in antioxidants. This is especially true for those of us who do not regularly take supplements. Consuming a good amount of antioxidant-rich foods on a regular basis can ensure that we have high levels of good cholesterol, low LDL cholesterol and low total triglyceride levels. In addition, eating a variety of fruits and vegetables can help to maintain healthy blood antioxidant levels throughout the day.
Although the health benefits of antioxidants are well-documented, there is some controversy surrounding their ability to prevent cancer. Some researchers believe that antioxidants may help to prevent cancer by neutralizing free radical molecules. Other scientists dispute this, arguing that antioxidants do not have the ability to stop cancer because other substances have such a powerful effect.
To understand how antioxidants prevent cancer, it is necessary to appreciate how free radicals can damage cellular DNA. These substances are produced during normal cellular function and exposure to environmental irritants like cigarette smoke, air pollution and lead can increase their production. Free radicals are believed to be the cause of cancer because they promote mutations in DNA strands that eventually lead to malignancy or cancerous growths. It has been hypothesized that smoking cigarettes can act as a pro-oxidant, thereby increasing the levels of free radicals in the body. If antioxidants can be used to counteract the free radical activity, then it is believed that the incidence of cancer can be prevented.
In addition to protecting against cancer, antioxidants may also help prevent other serious diseases and disorders, including cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease. The evidence that supports the idea that antioxidants can help to protect against these diseases is based on studies that have examined the relationship between antioxidants and circulation levels of several substances. It has been found that people who have a sufficient supply of antioxidants in their bodies are less likely to develop heart disease. It is unclear why these substances would be beneficial, but it is possible that vitamins c and A, which are considered to be antioxidants, help to repair the damage caused by free radical activity.
Since there are many different types of antioxidants, it may be difficult to choose which ones to include in your diet. Antioxidant supplements are available in many forms, including juices, pills, shakes, bars and food items such as cereal and granola bars. It is a good idea to talk with your doctor before taking any type of supplement. Vitamins C and E are included in many multivitamin preparations, and research has indicated that including them in the diet can help to prevent certain cancers, cardiovascular disease and macular degeneration. Green tea and pomegranate extract are examples of fruits and vegetables that contain a large amount of antioxidants.