Like more on the importance of dietary antioxidants? OK. Here it is.
Antioxidant comes from the word oxidize. To oxidize means to combine an element (an atom or molecule) with oxygen. When that happens we say the element has oxidized, or oxidation has occurred. A good visible example of that is rust. Rust is simply visible oxidation.
In our physical, visible world, we sometimes try to prevent rust, or oxidation, by coating a metal surface with paint or other protective material.
Similar activities occur in our bodies. Stress, tobacco smoke, pollution, and poor food choices cause oxidation to occur. As above, this happens when an atom or molecule loses an electron. The atom or molecule then becomes a free radical.
Free radicals are bad news because they go around looking to replace the lost electron. Free radicals are also produced in the normal body activities such as in the digestive process. This causes a damaging chain reaction among other cells.
Free radicals are suspected of playing a role in such diseases as cancer and heart disease, among other diseases.
This brings us to the need for more on antioxidants. The food sources that have the greatest amount of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables. Nuts and grains are also rich in antioxidants. Lessor amounts are found in some meats, poultry and fish.
An excellent way of boosting your immune system is to spend more time in the produce section of your local grocery store.
The three major antioxidant vitamins are: beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E. These are found in abundance in colorful fruits and vegetables. The optimal choices include the colorful ones: purple, orange, blue, red, and yellow hues.
They are best if eaten steamed or raw. Do not overcook.
Other super foods that have high amounts of antioxidants include:
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