What Are Antioxidants? Do We Need Them? Where Do We Get Them?

These are often asked questions, and yes we need as many antioxidants as possible. In total there are over 20.000 antioxidants which some of them are found in natural foods such as herbs and spices. Although, there is no shortage of antioxidants supply as a supplement in the commercial fields such as shops and supermarkets, which not always have the same quality as what nature provides. There is lots of talk about antioxidants and many times is the question asked: What are they, which one should I take or which one is the best? This of course depends on a person’s needs; there is no “one size fits all” solution and not all antioxidants are the same.

There Are Different Needs

To provide overall support for your body and organs, there are different types of antioxidants required to do this. Selected by the body, antioxidants are warding off free radical damage and at the same time energizing the cells to stay healthy and to continue a normal function. Glutathione is known as a molecule and progressively produced by the body itself as required. This is a mixture of protein – amino acids, glutamine and glycine. Such antioxidants as lutein, lycopene, resveratrol, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C and sulforaphane are just some of them that have a particular function in our body.

The All Important Antioxidant

Our body is constantly attacked by free radicals linked to chronic illness like heart disease and cancer. These are often referred to as reactive oxygen species. The oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC) is a type of measurement developed in 1992. It measures the capabilities of antioxidants against free radicals of how much a particular food inhibits the performance of free radicals. Thousands of ORAC tests done on foods that are commonly consumed, taking into account changes in readings from factors such as the ripeness of produce and seasonal variances, as well as whether the food is fresh or a dried concentrate. The tests have revealed an entire spectrum of antioxidant activity in various foods.

Antioxidants obtained from a healthy diet can effectively fight free radicals. They neutralize free radicals by donating electrons that stabilize them and are possessed of the special property of being able to lose electrons without becoming free radicals themselves. If, however, the body lacks the necessary antioxidants or is overrun by excessive free radicals the body’s healthy cells become damaged and diseased. This is why consuming food rich in antioxidants is the key. A variety of powerful antioxidants from a fruit-rich diet is the solution. Impressively, many studies have shown that combinations of fruits and vegetables can help the body to restore and maintain normal health without the potential side effects so common with pharmaceuticals.

Foods And Fruits Where You Find Antioxidants

Even if we think that we eat well and exercise regularly, these days some of the healthiest foods fall short on delivering the necessary nutrients and antioxidants we need for optimal health. Our body becomes tired quickly and we often experience that afternoon slump and think this is a normal way of just feeling tired. The truth is that the body is running out of energy because being short of nutrients and is becoming a target for illness. What this means: The antioxidants required to protect the immune system are insufficient. Adding some particular antioxidants can take your health to a whole new level.

You can find antioxidants in foods such as kidney beans, dark green veggies, sweet potatoes, dark chocolate, prunes, walnuts and raisins etc. According to the ORAC test, berries and dried fruits are some of the highest in antioxidants values. The highest ORAC value, if freeze-dried and processed correctly, is the Acai berry at a rating of – 1026, wild black berry – 340, wild blue berry – 260, elderberry – 240, red raspberry – 210. As in vegetables: Green pepper – 160, red pepper – 90, tomato – 60, broccoli – 130. These are just some examples and guide lines that may help. By choosing a variety of such foods which are rich in antioxidants you may prevent and reverse damage caused by free radicals.

Taking a supplement to help any short fall is a good thing, but avoid any supplement until you get your facts right. The only good supplement or multivitamin is the one formulated scientifically that contain phytonutrients and antioxidants.

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