What poses a threat to our health as we age? Free radicals do. Free radicals are renegade, unstable oxygen molecules that collide with other particles and tissues in our bodies. And it’s not as if free radicals mean to cause harm. However, they are basically unstable molecules looking to be stable again. When there are too many free radicals in your body, they run wild attacking not only unhealthy but also healthy parts of the body. This causes such diseases as heart disease and cancer.
Did you know that when we metabolize, or digest, food, free radicals can be an outcome? Our bodies are basically breaking down the food we eat into usable energy and a side effect from this are the formation of free radicals. We actually have natural antioxidants in our bodies which can neutralize these free radicals. The problem occurs when your body produces more free radicals than your body can handle. If you are stressed, your immune system is compromised, you are not exercising or eating poor foods, more free radicals can be produced than you can deal with. (If that is not a reason to eat well and cut down on stress, I am not sure what is!)
Antioxidants have been found to be a successful shield against free radicals. They alter cancer growth and act as anticarcinogens. Antioxidants are chemical substances that donate an electron to a free radical and convert it to a molecule that is harmless. Antioxidants intercept free radicals to keep them from damaging blood vessel membranes. This helps the flow of blood to the heart and brain and can against cancer causing damage.
There are various types of antioxidants. So it is important to balance all the following foods to reap the healthy rewards as part of your everyday diet. However, many of the sources comes from fruits and vegetables, as you will see below.
Apple juice is rich in antioxidants and has some pleasant side effects. Apple juice helps prevent against heart disease, as it helps stop fat turning into cholesterol.
Many people eat carrots. and they are an invaluable antioxidant. Five or more servings on a week is recommended to take the strain of the immune system.
Other fruits and vegetables: Bell peppers – mostly red and green – are a great source along with broccoli, spinach and tomatoes.
Oranges, strawberries, blueberries, apples, prunes, acai and pomegranates are great fruit sources of anti-oxidants.
Two glasses of red wine a day provides a great source of antioxidant. If you don’t drink wine you need to drink 7 glasses of orange juice to get the same effect.
Green tea is a much healthier choice than black tea. Drinking green tea is can cut hypertension by 65% or more. Nuts are also a great way to add anti-oxidants to your diet.
As far as skin-care products go, those with antioxidants can help plump out the skin and make it appear more youthful. Most antioxidants are great for reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, but vitamins C and E are especially beneficial.
Starting today, make smart choices while still enjoying your life and your family.