Although the benefits of antioxidants can be obtained from natural food sources it is difficult to get enough of them from these sources to hold back the free radicals constantly being generated in our polluted environment. We can minimize free radicals damage by supplements of key nutrients. A high intake of antioxidant nutrients appears to be especially protective against cancer.
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What are antioxidants? An antioxidant is something that absorbs free radicals by making them "complete", they become harmless. This of a free radical as being like a ball with sharp, prickly spikes all over it, any cell which comes in contact with it can be damaged. Think of an antioxidant as something that absorbs the spikes, leaving the ball to bounce harmlessly past cells.
Some of the known benefits of antioxidants can be found in selenium , beta-carotene , zinc , and vitamin E, vitamin C and vitamin A.
Researchers in more than 70 different studies have documented a correlation between eating lots of fruits and vegetables and a lower risk of cancer. Studies are constantly being done to research the antioxidants in foods like, blueberries, cranberries and orange and yellow fruits and vegetables.
Free Radicals and The Benefits of Antioxidants
Substances known as antioxidants neutralize free radicals by binding to their free electrons. Antioxidants available in supplement form include the enzymes , superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase; vitamin A and beta-carotene , and vitamin C and vitamin E , the trace mineral selenium; and the hormone melatonin.
The benefits of antioxidants help to detoxify and protect the body by destroying free radicals.
There is a group of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes called antioxidants that help to protect the body from the formation of free radicals. Free radicals are atoms or group of atoms that can cause damage to cells, impairing the immune system and leading to infections and various degenerative diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Free radical damage is thought by scientists to be the basis for the aging process as well.
There are a number of known free radicals that occur in the body, including:
They many be form by exposure to radiation and toxic chemicals such as those found in cigarette smoke, overexposure to the sun's rays, and various metabolic processes, such as the process of breaking down stored fat molecules for use as an energy source.
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