What Are Antioxidants and Should You Take Any As A Supplement?
What are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are substances that work interactively inside and outside the body’s cells. Protecting cell membranes from the damaging effects of highly reactive molecules called free radicals.
Free radicals are “charged” molecules that if not counteracted by antioxidants, run riot throughout the body. Causing irreparable damage to cell membranes and cell structures (including our DNA or genetic blueprint). Driving diseases such as cancer and heart disease, and also accelerating aging.
Another less serious sign of reduced antioxidants protection is aging. Or what we visibly see as lines, wrinkles, looser and blemished skin. Joint stiffness and chronic aches and pains may also be a sign of heightened levels of free radicals and reduced antioxidant protection. It is antioxidants that protect us, and literally “break the chain” of potential chemical destruction within the body.
Where Can We Get Antioxidants?
Diet or nutritional supplements can be the source of the antioxidants. The body also produces antioxidants, Examples of antioxidants we find in food include vitamins A, C, D and E, & the trace minerals magnesium, copper, zinc, and selenium. Which include antioxidant phenolic compounds, natural organic acids, flavonoids, tannins, and sulfur-containing compounds.
Can We Take Antioxidants Supplements?
One important point to remember about antioxidants (and all nutritional compounds) is that they work in synergy with one another. Vegetables such as broccoli, sprouts and bok choy, for example, contain over 70 different antioxidants substances. An amount, concentration, and natural structure that is simply not possible to achieve in a synthetic supplement.
Eating a natural whole food diet with a wide variety of foods really is the key to obtaining all the antioxidants protection you need. The antioxidant support on offer in a plant-based diet extends way beyond the conventional antioxidants found in many supplements. Different types of antioxidants in foods function in different ways.
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