What are Antioxidants?
Though most people have at least heard about antioxidants, the vast majority of people do not fully understand what they are or even why they are important to the health of the body. To keep diseases away from the body, there must be antioxidants present. Antioxidants provide a front line of protection against all types of invasive diseases and health concerns that can place a person’s health in danger.
Free radicals are unstable atoms that are seeking to bond with other atoms so they can steal one of their outer shell electrons. This creates a chain reaction of cell damage that can result in DNA mutations that lead to cancerous growths and other diseases.
They are found in many fruits and vegetables, some seafood, and marine plants. Though there are countless antioxidant compounds, the most common natural antioxidants are vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, Lycopene, and Beta-Carotene.
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Why are Antioxidants so Important to a Person’s Health?
Though the human body naturally produces antioxidants that protect against free radical attacks, there are often many more free radicals than antioxidants present in the body. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people are not feeding their bodies the nutrients they need so free radicals are free to begin attacking the cells and wreaking havoc in the body.
When antioxidants are present in high numbers in the body, the body has the protection it needs against free radical activity. In some cases, antioxidants act as protection against the free radicals while some seek to undue the damage that has been caused to the cells.
How Can People Increase the Antioxidants in Their Body?
The most effective way of increasing the body’s antioxidant levels is eating a diet that is full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grain. While many of these foods contain antioxidants, there are some choices that can skyrocket the antioxidant levels in the body:
Foods high in antioxidants
The deeper the color of fruit or vegetable, the higher the level of antioxidants inside. When these foods are consumed in their raw state, they offer the highest level of antioxidants. Unfortunately, heat can destroy antioxidants in many types of fruits and vegetables while it can enhance others. Tomatoes, for instance, lose much of their vitamin C when cooked, but gain more Lycopene.
To gain the most benefit, health experts recommend people use light cooking methods that do not expose vegetables to high levels of heat. Microwaving, steaming, and lightly sauteing can help to maintain the levels in the foods so they are not destroyed like they would be when boiled or fried.
What are Antioxidant Supplements?
Those who truly want to increase their protection against free radicals should consider supplementing their diet with man-made antioxidant supplements. One can take a multivitamin supplement or choose to take them individually for greater power. Important antioxidant supplements to include are:
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Alpha-Lipoic Acid
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant and it is naturally produced by the body. This tripeptide is found in every cell of the human body and is created by the liver. This has been found to be one of the most important antioxidants the body produces because it has a unique ability to assist other antioxidants in becoming more powerful and effective.
Unfortunately, the body’s ability to produce Glutathione begins to diminish as a person grows older. There are some foods that can help to increase production of Glutathione:
- Grass-fed meats
- Raw dairy products
- Whey protein
Take This Knowledge for a Concerted Pursuit of Better Health
Regrettably, there is no one pill or food one can eat to protect their body from free radicals. It takes a concerted effort for a person to protect their health, but it is not difficult to do. The key to gaining the most antioxidant protection is to eat a wide variety of healthy fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts. Anytime a person can eat them in their raw form, they are more likely to be able to gain increased levels of antioxidants.
In addition to eating a healthy diet, it also behooves a person to make sure they take antioxidant supplements. Glutathione supplements are especially beneficial for helping to protect the body against the free radicals. Since it is considered the master antioxidant, it can compliment a healthy diet and increase the benefit of all of the fresh fruits and vegetables being consumed.
With chemical exposure, cigarette smoke, alcohol consumption, and preservatives, free radicals are on the rampage in many human bodies. Thankfully, people can take steps to protect their bodies so their cells are not under attack. With these measures, people can protect themselves from a host of health conditions and diseases such as:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Heart Disease
By being proactive and working to consume foods that are rich in antioxidants, a person can rest assured their health will be protected. Antioxidants not only protect the body from diseases, they also fight the signs of aging so a person does not develop wrinkling and furrowing of the skin. Looking much younger than your true age is an added perk of protecting the body from free radicals.
With these measures, people may be able to avoid the ravages of disease in their body so they can lead healthier lives. As the levels of antioxidants are increased, the immune system is given a boost to protect against illness. Those who have not yet discovered the many benefits of antioxidants should learn all they can so they can be educated on protecting their bodies from the silent killers that would seek to destroy their bodies at the cellular level, creating widespread disease in the body. When taken as a direct approach to health, protecting the body is simple.