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The Importance of Antioxidants

One of the most popular claims for nutritional supplements today is that it has ‘antioxidant properties.’  You’d be hard-pressed to find a doctor or health professional who would contest the fact that antioxidants are vitally important to your health.  Antioxidants have been discussed on talk shows, dissected in medical journals and form a major topic of conversation wherever health-conscious people meet.  But few people can actually name specific antioxidants, let alone explain what they do and why they’re impor-

Antioxidant Foods

tant in your diet. 

 

Antioxidants like vitamin C, selenium, beta-carotene, manganese and zinc help the body combat the aging and disease-causing effects of free radicals – molecules that are formed through the normal process of breathing, digestion and metabolism.  As those processes use various nutrients in your body, they release unused parts of the molecules to float through your bloodstream where they attempt to attach themselves to your cells.   Free radicals that contain oxygen can damage the cells in your skin, blood, organs and other tissues, and prevent your body from adequately using the nutrients that you feed it.

 

Because realities of modern life like air pollution, water pollution, stress and cigarette smoke have introduced higher levels of free radicals into our lives than ever before, scientists speculate, our bodies need far more antioxidants than our fathers and grandfathers did.  Many of the diseases that have been on the increase in our industrialized society are now believed to start with the oxidation of chemicals in our world and in our bodies.  In an article published by WebMd at www.webmd.com, Jeffrey Blumberg, a professor of nutrition at Tufts University explained why.

 

“If free radicals simply killed a cell, it wouldn’t be so bad,” Dr. Blumberg is quoted as saying.  “The problem is free radicals often injure the cell, damaging the DNA, which creates the seeds of disease.”

 

 

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