Antioxidants and their benefits for a healthy life

April 6, 2009

Diets & Nutrition

What are free radicals and why are they bad? How can the effects of free radicals be stopped by antioxidants? What kind of substances are antioxidants and where can I get them? Find out the answers to all these questions and improve your lifestyle and health.

Free radicals are the byproducts of a necessary natural process that occurs in our bodies. The burning of oxygen from the cells of our body for the production of energy also creates free radicals. The resulted oxygen molecules, the free radicals, get oxyded having one electron missing, they tend to take it from the other cells. Free radicals appear in our bodies also because of our exposure to different environment factors, like the UV radiations, pollution and cigar smoke. If the free radicals aren’t stopped in any way they can produce modifications to the cellular walls, to their structure and to their genetic material. In time free radicals speed up the aging effect and heighten the risk of getting a heart disease, arthritis, cataract and cancer.


That would be the negative scenario. Fortunately these transformations can be prevented by the presence in our bodies of antioxidants. The role of antioxidants is that of killing the free radicals before they can reach the phase when they can create havoc in our bodies.

Now you can realize why there exists all the hype about renouncing all the aliments that produce free radicals, smoking, alcohol consumption and why it is recommended a way of life where antioxidants are valued and used to their full potential

If you want to live a more healthy life, to avoid premature aging and avoid the apparition of serious diseases, you have to find out how to give your body the right quantity of antioxidants. In the category of antioxidants are included some organic substances like vitamin C and E, vitamin A and selenium. Their purpose is that of donating electrons to the free radicals neutralizing them and thus preventing the destruction of the cells. So the free radicals become substances that are easily eliminated by your organism before they can produce any modification to the cells and provoke a bodily illness.

So make sure your diet contains lots of these vitamins and substances.

Vitamin C can be found in kiwi, oranges, grapefruits, strawberry, green peppers, cabbage, broccoli, potatoes, tomatoes etc. Besides the antioxidant properties vitamin C plays a huge role in the production of collagen, infection prevention, iron absorption and the production of thyroxine, an hormone that regulates metabolism and body temperature.

Vitamin E can be found most often in plants and concentrated vegetable oils. Make sure to integrate into your diet avocado, nuts, olives, olive oil, soya etc. Also vitamin E improves your immunity by protecting your leukocytes.

Selenium is a mineral that helps vitamin E be an efficient antioxidant. So you should eat nuts, mushrooms, seafood and fish.

You can get beta-carotene in large quantities in brightly colored fruits and vegetables like green, orange and yellow: carrots, potatoes, pumpkins, mango, papaya, spinach, broccoli.

It is important to include the mentioned food on your daily list. Also stay tuned and read the latest scientific breakthroughs regarding the beneficial effects of antioxidants form different aliments. For instance some studies have shown that oregano is a 5 times more effective antioxidant that other plants like basil. So add a couple of extra spoons of oregano to your sauces and cooked meals because now you know it doesn’t just taste good it’s good for you body also.

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