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What Are Antioxidants?
How To Add Antioxidants To Your Diet!

By: Ronald Godlewski

When our bodies use oxygen, the cells produce free radicals that cause damage to the body's cellular make-up. Antioxidants are attracted to free radicals and basically will neutralize them.

Many of today's health problems such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, macular degeneration and others, can be directly attributed to oxidative damage caused by free radicals ravaging the body. This is not only a theory, the role the antioxidants plays in neutralizing free radicals is well documented in medical journals as far back as the 1950s.

When we are young, the body seems to be blessed and can generally maintain at peek efficiency. By the time we reach the age of twenty five, the disease of aging begins. As the aging process slowly progresses, our bodies begin to need more assistance to stay in shape. We don't feel this aging process actually happening because this actually begins happening at the cellular level of our bodies. In time, the muscle tissue gets less substantial, the bones start becoming more brittle and our immune system is compromised.

When our immune system becomes compromised, we are more prone to infection and disease. Why do our bodies begin breaking down at the cellular level? The main culprit is free radicals. Without enough antioxidants in our bodies to counter the free radicals, they slowly create the oxidative damage that leaves us open to the opportunistic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's disease and many others.

A little more than fifty years ago, scientists found that heart disease, cancer, strokes, diabetes, cataracts, arthritis and many neuro-degenerative diseases were linked to the destruction caused by free radicals.

Free radicals are formed when weak bonds within a molecule split. These free radicals are highly unstable that attack and capture the closest molecule electron. After this happens, that molecule having lost it's electron, turns into a free radical and the whole process keeps recycling as a chain reaction. Left unchecked, free radicals create molecular chains that breakdown the bodies ability to regenerate properly. Because antioxidants neutralize the free radicals, keeping enough antioxidants active within the body is paramount.

Antioxidants can naturally be found in many varieties of food sources. There are over 4,000 compounds in foods that have antioxidants. Some of the food rich sources are kidney and pinto beans, blueberries, cranberries, artichoke, blackberries, raspberries, prunes, strawberries, apples, pecans, sweet cherries, plums, russet potatoes and many more.

Also, vitamin A, C and E, the mineral selenium and betacarotene are rich in antioxidants. The non-nutrient antioxidants that come from pytochemicals, lycopenes in tomatoes, athocyanins in cranberries that are believed to have greater effects at fighting free radicals than either vitamins or minerals. Many supplemental vitamins can be purchased through the health and wellness industry.

Many of the experts in health and nutrition all agree that as we get older, we need more antioxidant rich foods in our daily diets to fight off the free radicals from compromising our body and immune system. It is also widely believed that certain antioxidants also aid in slowly down the aging process. Could it be that free radicals play an important role in the aging process itself?

Although nutritionists in the health field have been acknowledging the benefits of antioxidants for several decades, it has only been recently that the medical field has discovered scientific evidence that backs up the role that antioxidants do play in our health.

Today, many medical scientists worldwide are finding strong evidence that antioxidants to play a very large role in the anti-aging process. Many of the degenerative effects of aging can be countered by a combination of nutrients. One of those key nutrients found to be most effective in combating the disease of aging itself is antioxidants.

How much antioxidants do we need in our diet? How much is a recommended daily allowance? To date there is no medical agency within the U.S. that has a set guideline concerning antioxidants in our diet. A few agencies generically recommend 5 servings a day of fruit and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants.

How much is too much? Again, no one medical agency seems to have a figure on this. You could say the jury is still out. Although the medical field agrees on the role that antioxidants play in maintaining our healthy bodies, they do not necessarily agree on how much we should need.

There are some within the health and wellness field that believe we need a lot more antioxidants in our bodies than just consuming from natural sources. There are many nutritional, supplemental vitamins on the market today that provide the healthy antioxidants our body needs to effectively fight off free radicals.

Ron Godlewski has written many articles on health, wellness, and maintaining vitality throughout our lifetime. Read more about the importance of nutrition and the many benefits of vitamins in our daily diets in the article library at http://www.pillfreesupplements.com and even receive your own complementary copy of a nationally recognized health and nutrition magazine for just visiting!

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