Why eat foods high in antioxidants?
Great question! A little science review first, though.
Scientists have found that the body forms unstable oxygen molecules. Free radicals. Every cell produces tens of thousands of them each day. Electrons normally exist in pairs. A free radical is basically an un-paired electron. Because it isn’t normal to for it to be alone, it attaches itself to the nearest healthy electron – stealing it from that healthy pair. And thus begins an unhealthy chain reaction of free-radical-swapping, which can cause substantial biological damage. Not good. And there are many kinds of free radicals that we are exposed to everyday like pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke and herbicides.
So what do antioxidants do about this?
They are thought to neutralize and stabilize these free radicals. And fortunately for all of us, antioxidants are found naturally in food!
Antioxidants Naturally Found in Food
Vitamin E: a fat-soluble vitamin that is involved in the metabolism of all cells. It protects vitamin A and essential fatty acids from oxidation in the body cells. It prevents the breakdown of body tissues. You can find vitamin E in…
- Wheat Germ Oil
- Almonds, Hazelnuts and Peanuts
- Sunflower Seeds and Oil
- Spinach and Broccoli
- Kiwi and Mango
Vitamin C: ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin. It is important in forming collagen, a protein that gives structure to bones, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels. Vitamin C also aids in the absorption of iron and helps maintain capillaries, bones and teeth. These foods are high in vitamin C…
- Citrus Fruits and Juices
- Cabbage, Green Peppers, Broccoli, Spinach, Tomato and Kale
- Guava, Cantaloupe, Kiwi, Papaya, and Strawberries
Beta-carotene: Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A. Studies suggest it is good for fighting heart disease, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, male infertility and psoriasis. You will naturally get your beta-carotene from eating…
- Egg Yolk
- Milk and Butter
- Spinach, Carrots, Squash, Broccoli, Sweet Potatoes and Tomatoes
- Cantaloupe and Peaches
Coenzyme Q10: CoQ10 boosts energy and enhances the immune system. It acts as an antioxidant. A growing body of research suggests that it may help prevent or treat heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. These foods have CoQ10…
- Oily Fish
- Spinach and Broccoli
- Wheat Germ and Whole Grains
Selenium: a trace mineral that is essential to good health but required only in small amounts. It helps synthesize antibodies and helps synthesize CoQ10. It also helps to transport ions across cell membranes. Look for selenium in…
- Brazil Nuts
- Wheat Germ
- Sunflower Seeds
- Whole Wheat Bread
- Dairy Foods
These are just some antioxidants. There are many other naturally found in foods.
Of course, the best way to get your antioxidants is naturally through fresh, vibrant food 🙂
If you are concerned about free-radicals and have questions about antioxidants, talk with your health care provider about what would be best for you. You can also go to HealthCheckSystems.com to learn more about free radicals and antioxidants.
What did you think of this article? Did it answer some of your questions about free radicals and antioxidants? You can leave your comments and questions in the comment section below.
Be sure to get your antioxidants and stay healthy!