Many of the studies and researches done lately focused on the nutrients known as antioxidants.
Scientists are beginning to understand the preventing qualities of antioxidants but the average person does not yet understand what antioxidants do or what they are. But you will have the knowledge after reading this newsletter.
Understanding the function of antioxidants is not hard and taking advantage of their properties is quite simple. Diseases like Cancer and arteriosclerosis, are unable to advance and spread through the body, thanks to the actions of antioxidants like Vitamin C, A, E Beta-carotene and others. By blocking and neutralizing the destructive power of too much free radicals. These antioxidants allow us to prevent major diseases, a clear example of this is the remarkable reduction of breast cancer in women that consume raw and cocked spinach and carrots.
Why are they called antioxidants?
Latest researches have shown scientists that oxygen, the gas we depend on to live, creates some very harmful by-products that destroy the very life it helps sustain. There are several vitamins that reverse or slow the oxidation cause by oxygen, that is the reason they call them antioxidants.
Oxidation, the reaction of oxygen with other chemicals, is the process that causes metals to rust, wood to burn, and a sliced apple to turn brown. As a matter of fact, if you coat a sliced apple with an antioxidant such as vitamin C, the apple will take a lot longer to change color.
It is best to remember that vitamin and mineral supplements should never be used as substitutesfor a healthy, well balanced diet! It is also important to note that we can “over- supplement” our bodies, taking much more than the recommended daily value of certain vitamins and minerals.
Vitamins A and E are fat soluble, meaning that excess amounts are stored in the liver and fatty tissues, instead of being quickly excreted, creating a risk of toxicity and disease. Your best bet is to eat a diet rich in fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, cantaloupe,and mangoes are great sources of antioxidants.
A healthy level of free radicals is needed by the body in order to get rid of bacteria. Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms that have at least one unpaired electron, which makes them highly reactive. Free radicals promote beneficial oxidation that produces energy and kills bacterial invaders. In excess, however, they produce harmful oxidation that can damage cell membranes and cell contents.
It is known that people who eat adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables high in antioxidantshave a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and cataracts. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, but it is not known which dietary factors are responsible for the beneficial effects. Each plant contains hundreds of phytochemicals (plant chemicals) whose presence is dictated by hereditary factors. Only well-designed long-term research can determine whether any of these chemicals, taken in a pill, would be useful for preventing any disease.
Without a doubt antioxidants are a vital tool in our fight against diseases, we all agree that sometimes eating the right thing is difficult but when compared with pain and suffering that we can bring to ourselves by cancer, arthritis or arteriosclerosis, a bowl of salad and an orange seems like a very tasty choice.
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