Most of us have heard the term antioxidant but most of us do not really know what they are or what they do. The science can be quite complex here so let’s keep it simple:
- An antioxidant prevents oxidation caused by free radicals in the body.
- There are a variety of antioxidants including vitamins A,C,E, selenium, resveratrol, anthocyanins and CoQ-10.
- A free radical is a particle that has lost a paired electron, making it unstable.
- Free radicals can be a result of normal metabolism, exercise, sunlight and cigarette smoke.
- Free radicals can damage the body by compromising the integrity of cell walls and affecting DNA.
- Free radicals have been linked to a number of diseases, including cancer, atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Antioxidants interrupt the chain reaction of oxidation caused by free radicals by donating electrons without becoming free radicals themselves.
THE BOTTOM LINE: a balanced diet that includes all food groups and lots of fresh foods will supply a lot of antioxidants, which helps us stay well. Some foods to look out for (buy them, eat them) include most berries, fruit & veg in general, and fish. That said, many of us with less-then-ideal diets may benefit from supplements and or special health foods too.
This content was supplied by FUTURELIFE®