A Beginner's Guide to Antioxidants

Posted by Kimberly on 2/8/2014 to Nutrition & Health
Antioxidants protect the cells in our body from damage that is caused by free radicals. These unstable molecules can come from many different sources like cigarette smoke and air pollutants. Some examples of antioxidants are lycopene, selenium, beta carotene, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. These antioxidants are naturally found in many grains, fruits and vegetables. However, if your body doesn't naturally receive the recommended daily dose of antioxidants, taking an antioxidant supplement or a multivitamin is recommended.

Why are antioxidants important for the body?

Our body protects us constantly from diseases and infection. All normal functions like physical activity and breathing will cause the cells in our body to produce free radicals. These free radicals can be quite destructive and when left uncontrolled, they can damage the cells of our body. With weak body cells, we are susceptible to diseases and infection. Antioxidants can help protect these cells from free radicals. They make our immune system stronger and are therefore vital for a healthy body.

Where can you find antioxidants?

Several food items are excellent sources of antioxidants. Antioxidant minerals, manganese and selenium are found in seafood and meats in some quantity. However, plant foods are the main source of all types of antioxidants. The FDA recommends eating between 5 and 9 servings of vegetables and fruits each day to get the daily recommended dose of antioxidants. However, since this is not possible for most people, antioxidant supplements are a great alternative.

Eating antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits or taking additional antioxidant supplements each day can strengthen the body's ability to fight disease and infection. It prevents cell damage that can be created by daily stress as well as several external factors. Antioxidants are also very beneficial for the health of the skin and hair.

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