A Health Boost With Antioxidants

A Health Boost With Antioxidants

by Myron Huett

Aging is big business. The vast selection of products in today's market has blurred the lines between health, beauty and fad. Many products contain antioxidants which are said to promote wellness and fight aging. Marketing has already convinced us of the benefits of antioxidants, but it's important to understand exactly what they are and how they work.

Antioxidant are naturally occurring nutrients present in the human body, and in many plants including fruits and vegetables. Our bodies need antioxidant to function properly; as cell protectors, they maintain good health by slowing the destructive aging of cellular molecules.

When cells function normally, they produce damaged molecules called free radicals that can cause further damage to the body. They steal fat, protein, DNA and other vital components from healthy cellular molecules. If left unchecked, these free radicals can cause a multitude of serious health concerns including heart damage, cataracts, cancer and a weak immune system.

One of the main benefits of antioxidants is their ability to stabilize free radicals. By providing stabilizing components, antioxidants help prevent widespread cellular destruction and reduce further damage to the system. Antioxidants return to the surface level of cells, steadying them rather than causing damage to other components.

Despite contradictions in research, studies on cats and dogs have shown that antioxidants can improve the immune responses and vaccine recognitions. This has been particularly useful in the vaccination of young animals that do not have fully developed immune systems.

Antioxidants are significant in older animals too, as they reverse the reduction of immune cell functions. Studies have also revealed that a combination of many different antioxidants, when given in average amounts, can be more effective than high level doses of a single antioxidant.

In the human body and plant life, naturally occurring antioxidants come in different forms. Vitamins A, C and E, and carotenoids including beta-carotene and lutein are familiar sources of antioxidants. These nutrients are the basis of our good health, especially beneficial in preventing heart disease as they block the spread of free radicals.

Vitamin E is a common source of antioxidants that protects us from cardiovascular disease by defending against LDL oxidation and artery-clogging plaque development. There have been numerous studies showing that antioxidants can also reduce the risk of cancer. Vitamin C has been shown to reduce rates of cancer of the larynx, mouth and esophagus.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are delicious options for boosting your antioxidant intake. Eat foods with bright and deep pigments, like tomatoes, red bell peppers, carrots and spinach. These foods provide the highest concentrations of this essential health booster.

There is no question that antioxidants provide many health benefits. But it's still not clear how, or if, antioxidant supplements should be taken. There is also a lack of proof of long-term consequences from taking mega-doses of antioxidants. While antioxidants occur naturally,they are chemicals and should caution must be used.

Speak with your doctor if you're thinking about boosting your body with the benefits of antioxidants.

For more health related articles read these pages.

  • Antioxidants... A Source For Healthy Living
  • Blueberries: Explore Their Health Benefits and Amazing Anti-Aging Effects
  • Keep Diabetes Under Control with diet and exercise.
  • Carrots: Why We Need To Eat More Of This Healthy Vegetable!
  • Healthy Comfort Foods To Relieve Stress and Anxiety

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