What Are Antioxidants, and Why Are They Important?
How often do you hear about antioxidants and their importance to your health? While they’re often advertised in different products, supplements, and foods, many people don’t actually know what they are and why they’re so important. If you better understand antioxidants, you may realize their impact on your health and may be more inclined to include them in your everyday diet.
Antioxidants are substances that protect the body’s cells against the effects of what are called free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced when the body digests and breaks down food. They are also produced when you’re exposed to environmental pollutants like tobacco smoke, radiation, and other irritants. These free radicals damage cells, and when not addressed, may play a factor in heart disease, cancer, digestive disorders, and other serious diseases. Damaged cells can also lead to weakened immune systems and to an unhealthy appearance, as your skin becomes pale and pasty.
The best source for antioxidants is the food you eat every day. Choosing the right foods with the best ingredients and elements will help you to be healthier and to fight free radicals. Foods that are high in vitamins and trace minerals are usually high in antioxidants and so are better choices.
Vitamin C and vitamin E are the best choices for antioxidants. CoenzQ10 is another great choice for antioxidants. Flavonoids and beta carotene are also good choices for antioxidants.
While these elements are healthy and provide the antioxidants your body needs to fight off damaging free radicals, they are not the “silver bullet” that’s needed to guard against heart disease and other chronic conditions. It’s strongly encouraged that you eat properly to get your antioxidants as supplements may not contain all the elements needed to be healthy, and often supplements have fillers that do no good. Pills are also difficult to break down in the body and to digest and process.
The best foods for antioxidants include fresh fruits, especially citrus fruits. Oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, and lemons are a choice. Dark leafy greens are also the best choices for antioxidants. The darker the greens, the more vitamins and trace minerals they will contains. Spinach, kale, romaine lettuce and other such darker greens are good sources of antioxidants. Fish is also a good choice for the oils you need and these help with digestion and absorption of minerals.
While pill supplements are not the best choice, it’s still good to consider them to help fill in the blanks when it comes to the vitamins and trace minerals you need. A choice to consider with supplements is a powder or liquid that you dissolve into another liquid. These are easier for your body to absorb and break down and will be more effective.