The benefits of Antioxidants
Once an antioxidant finds its way into the body, mostly through the foods we eat, it slows down, or even prevents, the oxidation of other molecules. When molecules in the body oxidize, they can create free-radicals, or cellular bi-products. It is very normal to have these free-radicals in the body, but in excess, they can wreak havoc on our cellular structures. Many experts feel that increased antioxidants in the body can also help slow the process of aging, and may even increase longevity.
What Are Free Radicals?
Free radicals cause damage in our bodies. As you can imagine, oxidative damage plays a huge role in many of our modern-day diseases, such as muscle and tissue degeneration, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, as well as many other health problems. You are exposed to free radicals as a normal bi-product of regular bodily processes, like breaking down the food we eat, taking toxic medicines, as well as through exposure to pollutants. In addition, over-exposure to the sun (sunburn) and smoking can also increase your body’s need to oxidize and create free-radicals.
Dietary sources of Antioxidants
How can you get more of these antioxidants into your body?
The secret to consuming more antioxidants is simple: Eat more organic fresh fruits and vegetables. The simplest and most effective way to expose yourself to more antioxidants is through your diet. By incorporating at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day into your diet, you may be helping your body reduce its chances of heart disease, neurological diseases, cancer and lowered immunity.
Examples of common antioxidants include, beta-carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Selenium, alpha lipoic acid and vitamin E.
Vitamins containing Antioxidants
There are many vitamins that may help with increasing antioxidant levels in the body. A small selection can be seen below.