Antioxidant Nutrition Facts Health and Fitness Blog - 2HealthAndWellness.com
The word antioxidant is used to describe a group of vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and carotenoids whose job it is to protect the body from destructive free radicals. Vitamins A, C, E and the mineral selenium are the most well known of the antioxidants. Carotenoids like lutein, beta-carotene and lycopene have high antioxidant nutrition and give a myriad of fruits and vegetables their bright colors. The reason carrots and pumpkins are orange is due to their high beta-carotene content. Green leafy vegetables contain a high concentration of lutein, which is essential for eyesight. You can find lycopene in most red fruits and vegetables, like tomatoes. Color in your diet not only adds variety, it has high nutritional value as well.
So why are they called antioxidants? The name represents the mechanism by which they help prevent disease. In humans, a small but significant percentage of oxygen molecules in the body will become electrically charged due to natural cellular activity and/or exposure to environmental factors like tobacco smoke and radiation. The oxygen molecule becomes a free radical as it undergoes this process of oxidation. Free radicals are highly reactive as they try to steal electrons from other molecules, including DNA and cellular membranes. This chain reaction of free radicals can damage cells, which may play a role in the development of certain conditions like heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants, however, stop the chain-reaction by giving up electrons and neutralizing free radicals so that they cannot induce any more oxidative damage.
Many studies have shown the link between free radicals and several degenerative diseases associated with aging. Thus, it is possible that antioxidant nutrition can be beneficial in reducing the incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, Alzheimers disease, immune dysfunction, cataracts, stroke, and macular degeneration.
There is an abundance of Vitamin A in liver, dairy and fish. Vitamin C is found in bell peppers and citrus fruits while Vitamin E is plentiful in oils, fortified cereals, seeds and nuts. The mineral selenium can be found in Brazil nuts, meats, tuna and plant foods. You will find lutein in green vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peas and kale. Tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit and papaya are all good sources of lycopene. Beta-carotene is abundant in sweet potatoes, carrots and squash. If you are not getting enough in your diet, the next step you may want to consider is nutritional supplements.
You can find more information on antioxidant nutrition by doing a web search and doing some research about anti aging facts. Finding the right combination of nutritional supplements for you may be as simple as arming yourself with the right data. The best source of information may come from a nutritionist. They can evaluate your diet and make suggestions regarding supplementation. Check out Anti Aging Facts.
Filed under Detox Your Body by HealthInfo
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