Monday, November 15, 2010

Free Radical Damage reduced by Antioxidants

As we age we are susceptible to free radical damage and the best way to repair this damage is through a healthy dose of antioxidants. Free radicals, also known simply as radicals, are organic molecules responsible for aging, tissue damage, and possibly some diseases. These molecules are very unstable, therefore they look to bond with other molecules, destroying their vigor and causing them to change structure. In nature, this is a normal process. If a car is left in a field, over a period of time it will rust and this is known as oxidative stress. Inside the body, this stress caused by free radicals damages the body on a cellular level and leaves it vulnerable to attacks from diseases. Cancer and other degenerative diseases are linked to free radicals in this way.

Antioxidants are the best source of defense against free radicals. Present in many foods, antioxidants are molecules that prevent free radicals from harming healthy tissue and can strengthen the cells to resist damage. They bind together with dangerous free radicals and decrease their destructive power. It is difficult today to find food with the right amount of antioxidants in them and the best choices for antioxidant-rich foods are found in dark green leafy vegetables. Items high in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene are believed to be the most beneficial. These nutrients are commonly found in fruits and vegetables, those with the strongest colors being healthiest. Orange and red peppers, tomatoes, spinach, and carrots are examples. Since it is hard to get a full supply of antioxidants from food, a good, high-grade, supplement is a must to help protect the body from free radical damage.


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