We hear a lot about antioxidants and how we need to make sure to incorporate them into our daily diet, but why? What do they do that is so helpful for our bodies? Here are some reasons why antioxidants are important to good health.
Antioxidants Neutralize Free Radicals
Antioxidants are important because they prevent disease and illness caused by free radicals.
Antioxidants are molecules which can safely interact with free radicals and terminate the chain reaction caused by free radicals to prevent cellular damage.
What are Free Radicals?
Free radicals are highly unstable chemicals that can damage DNA. However, sometimes they can be beneficial for liver detoxification and blood vessel relaxation.
Free Radicals can be caused by trans fatty acids when liquid vegetable oil is processed into a solid fat. Sources of trans fats include margarine, pre-mixed cakes, donuts & candy, so minimizing or eliminating these foods from your diet can be highly beneficial.
How Do We Consume More Antioxidants?
Shopping the perimeter of the grocery store and stocking your cart with fresh fruits and vegetables is a great start. Vitamin sources such as berries and oranges (Vitamin C) & broccoli and spinach (Vitamin E) will strengthen your immune system. Mineral sources such as zinc (seafood & nuts) and selenium (beef & poultry) will also protect you from illness and disease associated with free radicals and oxidative stress. Other sources of antioxidants include phytonutrients such as carotenoids (tomatoes) and allicin (garlic and onions).
Originally posted 2018-07-24 09:39:00.