The Power of Antioxidants

Finding out which vitamins have antioxidant properties

If when you hear the term “free radicals” you assume the reference is to a political party, you are obviously not yet counted amongst the growing numbers of people taking an interest in the struggle going on in our bodies between the free radicals and antioxidant elements.

The decay and aging of bodily tissue is hastened by a chemical process known as oxidation. The free radicals are destructive molecules that are present in the body and the environment around us and they cause us harm when they overwhelm our antioxidant defenses. It follows that by boosting our antioxidant vitamins intake bodily decay can be delayed.

Vitamins are recognized as a leading source of antioxidants but like all good things they need to be used discriminately since overdoses cause harm. They are found in common foods and also available in tablets sold over the counter at many pharmacies and specialist health food shops. Many people also now buy these vitamins and antioxidants online. Antioxidant vitamins in tablet or liquid form may be used to make up vitamin deficiency but appropriate medical guidance is strongly recommended.

Which Vitamins Have Antioxidant Properties?

Antioxidants InfographicSome of the antioxidant vitamins are familiar to us and their importance to our health is well understood. Perhaps vitamin C is the best known of all the antioxidant vitamins. Virtually everyone knows that it is found in citrus fruits and spinach as well as a number of other foods. Over the last seventy years its importance in strengthening our immune systems and fighting devastating diseases has become widely recognized.

Although not quite to the same extent as vitamin C, vitamin E is also now seen as occupying a high position when we draw up the list of which vitamins have antioxidant properties. Vitamin E helps protect cells against the attacks of the free radicals and it is also known for assisting the body control dangerous LDLs (more commonly known as bad cholesterol).

This vitamin is found in many foodstuffs with olives, avocado, almonds and green vegetables best known to the general public. Vitamin E is now widely recognized for its importance in maintaining a healthy immune system. Although cases of major vitamin E deficiency are uncommon with the exception of premature babies, the same cannot be said about marginal vitamin E deficiencies.

Vitamin K is another of the antioxidant vitamins and much less well known than those previously mentioned. It is significant for the blood clotting process and to bone health and it is therefore importance to athletes or others who regularly engage in strenuous activities that might result in injury.

Antioxidant formula (supplement) and how it can help preserve good health

The news is almost always full of conflicts between different countries and groups, but at the same time a very different type of natural conflict is taking place within our bodies between the causes of bodily decay and aging and the elements enhancing bodily defenses to prevent or slow down these degenerative processes.

A variety of factors can have negative impact on health including poor diet, pollution of the environment and the natural activity of the molecules known as “free radicals” — harmful molecules that are naturally found in our bodies and contribute to the decay of bodily tissue and advancing the aging process.

Fortunately, antioxidant elements are also present in our bodies to defend tissue against such attacks. These antioxidants are absorbed through eating fresh foodstuffs including green vegetables, spinach and broccoli and by drinking tea and other drinks recognized for their healthy qualities.

The rise in consciousness of the role of antioxidants and the part they play in strengthening bodily defenses has found expression in the demand for various antioxidant formula or supplements to make up any potentially damaging deficiencies.

Antioxidant formula is usually derived from vitamins and extracts from natural foods and plants and sometimes ingredients may have an animal source, but there is no shortage of vegan compounds available for those who prefer to follow such a diet. Milk thistle, pine bank extract, vitamin C and vitamin E are just a few examples of the typical kind of ingredients you may find in antioxidant formula.

Antioxidant formulas can be purchased from health stores and usually personal advice is available here regarding which of these supplements is best for you. Internet shopping is the other main source of buying an antioxidant formula.

Buying online has advantages for those who do not have health stores close to where they live, and it allows shopping around for the best prices. Although the lack of chance of a personal consultation is a disadvantage there is still a great deal of information on these sites about the supplements they offer and how they help deal with various health issues such as slowing down aging and preventing other aspects of bodily decay.

A good way of combining the advantages of personal consultation and the bargains you can find online is to consult with a reputable health expert and afterwards search the Internet for the best prices for the recommended antioxidant formula.

How drinks high in antioxidants can build up bodily defenses

Anyone taking a keen interest in personal health over recent years will certainly have noticed the spread of awareness of the role of antioxidant elements in protecting body tissue against decay and premature aging.

Bodily decay is hastened by a chemical process known as oxidation. When dangerous molecules known as “free radicals” overcome the antioxidant defenses naturally found in our bodies they start damage tissue and open the way to serious disease and hasten aging.

While antioxidants are naturally absorbed from certain foods, for example from various kinds of nuts, spinach and wheat germ, the taking of antioxidant formula has become a popular for strengthening the body’s resistance to the forces of sickness and decay. While many kinds of formula are available in tablet form, many people have difficulty taking tablets or simply prefer the option of taking an antioxidant drink.

High on the list of favorite drinks that are high in antioxidants and available almost wherever you happen to live are natural fruit juices. The greater the degree of purity of the fruit juice, the higher its antioxidant level. If you are looking for a color indication of how beneficial the juice is going to be, good general rule to apply is the darker the drink the greater the percentage of antioxidants.

However, not all fruit juices are equal in their health protecting qualities. At the top of the league comes grape juice, followed closely by grapefruit, tomato, orange and apple juices, so whatever your taste in juices there is a good chance you can find a health antioxidant drink to enjoy.

In addition to natural juices, the old English favorite of tea gets excellent ratings as an antioxidant drink. Until recently many health-conscious individuals believed that green tea was their healthiest choice, but more recent research has raised our appreciation of the health benefits of drinking black tea.

Perhaps in hindsight the colonial Americans would have been better off continuing to drink their English tea rather than throwing it off the boat into the water!

Commercial soft drink producers have not been slow to notice the potential market for healthier drinks and have begun to add antioxidants to their sodas. This goes to show the extent that public concern over maintaining a healthy diet can lead to real improvements in the quality of the food and drink products available to us.

Super antioxidants

12 Best Foods Rich in AntioxidantsEveryone knows how the comic book hero superman takes on the forces of evil to make the world a better place. Less well known are the health food equivalents that help wage the battle within our bodies against elements harmful to our health — the super antioxidants.

To understand exactly how super antioxidants serve as health preservers and enhancers, it is necessary to understand the fight that is continually taking place between antioxidants and free radicals.

Oxidation is a process required for metabolizing the fats and glucose our bodies use to create vital heat and energy. At the same time oxidation fulfils this indispensable role it creates as a by-product harmful compounds known as free radicals.

Antioxidants are the compounds in our body that defend body tissue against the free radicals and thereby prevent disease and slow down the aging process. They can be found in vitamins, minerals or enzymes absorbed from a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits and drinks such as grape juice and teas.

In the same way that Superman had the powers to vanquish all his foes, the super antioxidant stands in the front ranks in the fight against the depredations of the free radicals on our fragile bodies.

So, what are considered the leading super antioxidants?

The best known of all the master antioxidants is without doubt vitamin E. This humble vitamin absorbed from green vegetables, wheat germ and nuts, can apparently help to slow down the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and even aid people suffering from infertility issues.

The ellagic acid commonly found in red raspberries, pomegranates and some other fruits, is considered an important factor in inhibiting the growth of abnormal cells and a valuable aid for the body in fighting killer diseases, reducing the risk of birth defects and improving the body’s natural self-healing powers.

Flavonoids are another well know leading antioxidant type. They are found in red and blue fruits and are also present in black and green teas. They are known to improve vision and their role in helping prevent heart and other serious diseases is currently under investigation.

Perhaps less well known than the Flavonoids but still certainly deserving of the title of master antioxidant is Glutathione. The boosting of our immune systems and the removal of liver toxins from the body are major contributions to our health resulting from the activities of this powerful molecule that is found within everybody cell. If you want to boost your Glutathione levels you can find it in avocado, broccoli and asparagus.

Antioxidants and skin

The role of antioxidants in enhancing skin care has become a hot topic at the moment. If you are not yet familiar with this term you should know that antioxidants are chemicals naturally present in all our bodies. They serve to protect skin tissue against harm that can be caused by compounds known by the curious name of free radicals.

The free radicals are also naturally present in the body as a by-product of an essential process called oxidation. Although everyone needs the heat and energy generated through this metabolizing of fats and glucose, the free radicals it also creates are capable of causing serious damage to body tissue and increase risks of disease as well as hastening the pace of aging.

Free radicals can also be created through the impact of environmental pollution and personal lifestyles, smoking in particular.

Although the body absorbs antioxidants through a range of foods and drinks, for example, broccoli, spinach, grape juice, and teas, they can also be supplemented with vitamins E and C formulas. Current research indicates that the skin is the last bodily organ to benefit from our antioxidant intake and this has opened up a market to producers of skin care products that bring antioxidants directly into contact with our skin.

These creams are recommended for their role in providing additional protection against the damage to skin tissue resulting from climate and environmental factors.  There are indications that certain of these skin creams can actually assist in the healing of damaged skin, and perhaps even hold back the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging. They also seem to have some effect in fighting bacteria-based skin infections.

High in the ranks of antioxidants viewed as particularly beneficial for the skin are the well-known vitamins A and C. The former is considered a valuable aid to slowing down the effects of aging on the skin and improving skin condition while the latter improves the appearance of skin and helps protect it from over-exposure to sunshine. Vitamin E is seen as helping guard the oily molecules found in skin against damage caused by free radical attacks.

Although the scientific evidence available for specific antioxidants and skin care links is as of yet inconclusive, there appears to be sufficient indication that antioxidants and skin health are linked in that by helping strengthen general health they also help improve skin condition.

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