Fresh Fruit & Vegetables contain Antioxidants for Good Health and Longevity
One of the primary defenses the body has against disease and illness is the number of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that are taken in on a regular basis. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and prevent oxidative stress and damage to the body.
To simplify oxidative stress, you can relate it to an apple. Once it is cut open and the white interior is exposed, it begins to turn brown and rot. Eventually, the interior of the apple is degraded to the point where it is inedible. Free radicals cause the same response inside of the body, and antioxidants are the best way to prevent this degradation from occurring.
Antioxidants have the ability to neutralize free radicals and there are a number of ways you can ensure that your body gets enough of these substances to remain healthy. The first thing you must do is to understand what antioxidants and free radicals are, and how they affect you.
What are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are substances that keep the body healthy. They are vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that are found naturally around us, and inside of us. When your body has enough antioxidant intake and a high enough intake of the materials it needs to create necessary trace antioxidants, the number of free radicals found in your body are greatly reduced.
Unfortunately, just as your body is able to create certain antioxidants, it is able to create free radicals. Free radicals are a natural part of chemical processes and are a normal byproduct of your regular metabolism.
Where Do You Find Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are nutrients obtained from our diet and produced by our bodies if it is given the right materials to make them. Most people are familiar with the prominent antioxidant-based vitamins, like vitamins A, C, and E. They are also familiar with the most common mineral based antioxidants. However, since there are so many phytochemical antioxidants the average person could not possibly name them all.
Currently, there are thousands of phytochemicals known, and countless more that we have not discovered yet. A single serving of fruits or vegetables can contain nearly 100 different phytochemicals, and each one serves a purpose inside the body.
Phytochemicals were originally used as the plant's natural defense against stress, sunlight, and the harsh conditions they grow in. They also help protect the plant from developing diseases that would kill it otherwise. When we eat these plants, our bodies absorb these helpful nutrients. Even though they are not considered essential for sustaining life, they provide amazing benefits that we cannot obtain elsewhere.
How Antioxidants Work?
As you can see, antioxidants are an extremely vital part of your body's natural defense against the world around it. They protect your body from damage at the most microscopic point, on a cellular level. Since free radicals are a natural byproduct of your body's metabolism, they are highly unstable and extremely reactive. However, to some extent they are also necessary to your body's defense system. Having some free radicals in your system is perfectly normal and helpful, but when the concentration becomes excessive, they begin to cause oxidative stress that leads to aging and disease.
While free radicals may pose a substantial risk of causing disease on their own, the true risk is that they can weaken your immune system, leading to disease and defect. By consuming a healthy amount of antioxidants, you will improve your immune system and reduce the risk of suffering from the natural immune system.
Types of Antioxidants
There are many different types of antioxidants. Some are considered vitamins, others minerals, some amino acids, and others phytonutrients. There are some types of each antioxidant classification, but here are the primary types of antioxidants you should be looking for.
- Vitamins: Examples of antioxidant vitamins are vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin A.
- Amino Acids: Examples are glutamic acid, cysteine, glycine.
- Phytonutrients: There are two major categories of phytonutrients, bioflavonoids (classification contains thousands of these) and carotenoids (there are more than 700 of these).
While there are some antioxidants we can take in through our daily diet, there are others that cannot be take in with our food. In order to ensure that we have enough of the antioxidants our bodies manufacture, we need to provide it with the vitamins and minerals it needs to create them. Some of the antioxidants our bodies create are in very short supply, so we have to take time out to provide our bodies with supplements necessary to build them.
One of the examples of internally manufactured antioxidants is glutathione. This is one of the most potent and powerful antioxidants known to science. It is the primary antioxidant involved in detoxifying cells and can reach places your cells will not allow other antioxidant particles to go. As we age, our body produces less and less of it, unless we bulk up our diet with the elements and nutrients that our bodies need to create it.
How to Fight Back Against the World
There are a number of ways you can fight back against excess free radicals and the other effects of the world around us. By boosting our intake of Omega 3, 5, and 7 with foods or supplements of Arctic Cod, we are less likely to suffer from disorders affecting our brains, hearts, and circulatory system. We can also replace the number of vitamins and minerals our bodies use throughout the day by taking a reputable supplement.
Many people overlook the benefits of taking a supplement containing d-ribose and l-cystine on a regular basis. These two important minerals help fight against damage to your glands and other internal organs.
Managing your weight is a great way to improve your health and reduce the amount of stress your body is under. It can also improve your immune function, and increase your cardiovascular strength.
Analyze your diet carefully to determine what nutrients you are not getting enough of on a regular basis. If you are unable to find a way to incorporate them into your diet naturally, add nutrient specific supplements to your daily routine. Your body and health will thank you, and you will live a longer, healthier life.