Consider This as Your Gateway to the World of Antioxidants
It goes without saying that your body needs different nutrients in order for it to run smoothly and for your vital organs to stay well-functional.
I believe that one of the major types of nutrients that the body constantly needs is antioxidants. Nowadays, most people know about antioxidants because of their presence in different foods, supplements and even skincare products.
In fact, a 2011 “Shopping for Health” survey conducted by the Food Marketing Institute revealed that antioxidants are one of five health components that Americans want in their food products.1 In a way, this is a good start. However, most people know very little about antioxidants, which is quite a shame because these substances can deliver so many health benefits to your body.
What Are Antioxidants and What Do They Do?
Antioxidants are molecules that may help prevent oxidation of other molecules. There are numerous antioxidants known today, and these can naturally occur in the body or be found in whole and organic foods or high-quality antioxidant supplements.
Health Benefits of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are revered for their positive effects towards neutralizing free radicals, which are unstable and highly reactive atoms or groups of atoms that contain an unpaired electron.
These free radicals, because of the lack of an electron, aggressively attack other molecules to look for a replacement for the missing electron, in what’s called an “oxidation” reaction. If oxidation continues, more free radicals may be produced, and eventually leave a trail of biological damage.2
Free radicals may collect in cell membranes and result in lipid peroxidation, causing the cell membrane to become brittle and leaky, triggering the cell to fall apart and die. Even worse, free radicals may result in poor cell performance and tissue degradation, raise the risk for different diseases like cataracts, Parkinson’s disease and atherosclerosis, and trigger a higher risk of oxidative stress that may lead to tissue and organ damage.
When faced with the threat of free radicals, antioxidants act as electron donors by disrupting the free radical chain reaction in the body. Antioxidants sacrifice their own electrons to “feed” the free radicals, without turning into free radicals themselves. In a way, antioxidants serve as a powerful defense mechanism against reactive oxygen species (ROS)-caused attacks. Apart from fighting free radicals, however, antioxidants are also valuable for:
Repairing damaged molecules
Helping slow down the aging process
Inhibiting metal radical production by delivering a chelating effect
Promoting gene expression and endogenous antioxidant production
Promoting cancer cell apoptosis or cell suicide
Foods High in Antioxidants
As with other nutrients, the best way to get antioxidants is through your diet. There are many antioxidant-rich foods that you can enjoy today, such as:
- Fresh, organically grown and GMO-free fruits and vegetables
- Nuts like pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts
- Herbs and spices
- Organic green tea
- High-quality grass fed whey protein
If you want to check if a food is abundant in antioxidants, look at its Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) score, which measures the food’s potential to combat free radicals. The higher the ORAC score, the more potency and ability the food has in addressing age-related degeneration and diseases.
Should You Give Antioxidant Supplements a Try?
I believe that supplements must only be taken to complement a healthy and holistic natural diet. This is because supplements can’t replace the nutrients you naturally get from whole foods.
However, some people may need to take antioxidant supplements, especially if they miss out on essential nutrients. High-quality antioxidant supplements like vitamin E, krill oil, astaxanthin with ALA and liposomal vitamin C are some of the best choices you can rely on.
If you’re planning to take antioxidant supplements, consult a doctor first to learn about which type of antioxidant is best for you and the ideal dosage you must take.
Discover More About the Importance of Antioxidants Through This Helpful Guide
Taking the advantages of antioxidants into heart, it’s time to start thinking about ways to increase your body’s antioxidant levels. The Ultimate Guide to Antioxidants may just be what you need if you want more information on what antioxidants have to offer.
You’ll find out about the health benefits of antioxidants and the potential health impacts that a particular type of antioxidant can provide. You’ll also learn my top lifestyle tips to complement an antioxidant-rich diet and lead you to a path of optimal health and well-being.
Almost anyone can benefit from antioxidants. Take some time to read this to learn more about the antioxidants that are suitable for your health and how you can raise your body’s levels to prevent unwanted health consequences.
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