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Published:  2012-10-23 Views:  305
Author:  Michael
Published in:  Site Promotion
You may have heard about antioxidants from various sources of media information. You may also wonder how vital it is for your health. Here are five things you should know about antioxidants.

1. Antioxidants are your body's best friends

Antioxidants are compounds in foods such as vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. They protect, and repair damaged cells while neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are the chemicals produced by oxidation in the human body. These chemicals play an important role in the development of such chronic diseases as cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimers, cataracts, and arthritis.

2. Types of Antioxidants

Each nutrient antioxidant is distinctive in terms of its structure and function. Some of the most useful antioxidants come from vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene, selenium, manganese and zinc

Besides the nutrient antioxidants, there are also non-nutrient antioxidants deriving from phytochemicals in plants and zoochemicals from animal products. It is believed that they have even greater antioxidant effects than vitamins or minerals.

3. Antioxidants help to boost your immune system

Since antioxidants counteract the harmful effects of free radicals from the body cells and prevent the damage caused by oxidation, they also reduce your risk of many disease. Free radicals can also interfere with your immune system. Antioxidants keep your immune system strong and fight against colds, flu, and other infections. In doing so, the antioxidants themselves become oxidized.

However, high doses of antioxidants may lead to health problems and the risk of toxic reactions. That is because antioxidant minerals or vitamins can act as pro-oxidants or damaging oxidants if they are consumed at levels significantly above the recommended amounts for dietary intake.

4. Taking antioxidants from a vitamin or a supplement are not the best way

The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, an advisory group that is part of the National Academy of Sciences, indicated that Vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and carotenoids should come from food, not from supplements.

It is not the best way to take just antioxidant supplements as it could be harmful. Consuming a diet rich in antioxidant-containing foods would definitely have more potential health benefits. Another reason foods are a better choice than supplements because foods contain an incomparable array of antioxidant substances. In fact, when it comes to antioxidant intake, it should include a wide variety of foods as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet.

5. Top Super Foods for antioxidants

Berries: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, goji berries and acai berries. Beverages: green tea, coffee and red wine. Fruits: pear, avocado, cherries, kiwis, plums and pineapples. Vegetables: broccoli, artichoke, spinach and red cabbage. Nuts: almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans and hazelnuts. Herbs: garlic, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric Grains: oat-based products Dessert: dark chocolate

This article originally comes from a free bonus of 54 Simple & Healthy Lunch Recipes (Fast & Easy Recipes For Busy People).

By: Lisa Richard

Author of

34 Simple & Healthy Breakfast Recipes (Fast & Easy Recipes For Busy People Vol.1) 54 Simple & Healthy Lunch Recipes (Fast & Easy Recipes For Busy People Vol.2) 46 Simple & Healthy Dinner Recipes (Fast & Easy Recipes For Busy People Vol.3)

Website: www.lisarichardbooks.com
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