What exactly is an antioxidant?
By definition, it is a chemical substances, found in nature or made in the laboratory, that can protect against oxidation damage caused by free radicals which harms or kills cells.
Where do free radicals come from?
Free radicals are left-over stuff (byproducts) of metabolism that uses oxygen in the process.
And pretty much every cell in your body uses oxygen for metabolism. They are everywhere since all earthly life uses oxygen for metabolism.
What do these free-radicals do to our body and cells?
Free-radicals are highly reactive. When they come in contact with cell membranes or other cellular structures, they chemically react with them and cause a certain amount of damage.
The free-radicals made during metabolism, if not removed, are strongly suspected to cause many diseases such as heart disease, premature aging, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's disease and cataracts.
|Types||Antioxidants Facts and Food Sources|
|Vitamin C||This is the most well known and widely used
It can boost the immune system, help with symptoms of the common cold, protect the blood vessel against oxidative damage and protect against damage caused by smoking.
There is evidence from research studies, that it doesn't seem to help protect against cancer.
|Vitamin E||This is a potent antioxidant that enhances the immune system and may help you live longer.|
|Bioflavonoids||See our article Health Benefits of Bioflavonoids to discover this group of antioxidants.
There are over 5,000 different compounds found in this group!
|Carotenoids||This group includes beta carotene, lycopene
and lutein. Studies show
that carotenoids can help prevent heart
disease, boost the immune
system and help prevent certain types of cancer.
Beta carotene are known to be helpful in protecting a smoker's lung.
Lutein is routinely recommended by doctors for people who suffer from eye problems such as macular degeneration (which leads to blindness).
As well, studies show that lycopene helps prevent prostate cancer. Foods that contain carotenoids include tomatoes, spinach, carrots and pumpkins.
|Amino Acids||There are several amino acids that possess
good antioxidant benefits.
They include glutathione, cysteine and alpha lipoic acid (ALA).
|Coenzyme Q10||See our detailed and popular article Benefits of Coenzyme Q10 to discover all the health benefits of this versatile supplement.|
|Selenium||Selenium seems to offer protection against
prostate, colon, lung and skin cancer.
Most multi-vitamin will have some in it but perhaps not quite enough...
See our article Benefits of Selenium for the complete details.
Defend your body against oxidative damage and aging by these annoying free-radical. How?
By eating natural foods rich in antioxidants. There's not much point in listing the top 10 foods high in antioxidants as you may not like some of them.
And really, do you want to eat something that might be good for you but that you truly don't like them?
Stick with your favourite fruits (berry fruits such as acai, blueberries, strawberries, etc...) and vegetables; all kinds of them.
Antioxidant supplements may be considerered as well to boost the amount delivered to your body and perhaps help prevent you from aging prematurely and getting some types of diseases.