The Benefits of Antioxidants
There are so many benefits of antioxidants that we must ensure we consume high antioxidant foods and perhaps even an antioxidant supplement if we are serious about looking after our health, improving our body's functioning and accelerating our recovery from exercise.
Antioxidants reduce the damage in our body caused by free radicals. In fact, there is much evidence to suggest that free radicals significantly contribute to the diseases of modern day society. As a result, ensuring adequate intake of antioxidant foods is essential for optimal health and well being.
We often hear that we should eat more antioxidant foods but why do we need them and what are the foods high in antioxidants? Also, can they help us lose weight? What is the best antioxidant supplement to use?
Free radicals are highly reactive molecular particles resulting from either normal metabolism within a cell or from harmful substances or contaminants in our environment. The damaging substances from our environment include chemicals found in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. They may come from pesticides, cigarette smoke, car emissions and smog.
A molecule becomes a free radical when it loses one of its electrons. Due to its electron loss it becomes an unstable entity that is highly reactive. These free radicals react with or 'oxidise' any nearby stable molecules, taking one of their electrons to become stable themselves, thereby causing the previously stable molecule to become another free radical. This newly formed free radical then reacts with another stable molecule and so on and so on. This 'domino-effect' continues until the free radical is quenched by an antioxidant.
This chain of free radical reactions causes serious damage to the cells of our body, which may lead to a reduced functioning capacity of these cells. Also, if they react with the DNA of a cell, cancer may develop! Free radicals also contribute to the aging process. The damage they causes in our body is similar to the rusting or oxidation of iron, the rotting of meat or the 'browning' of a cut apple.
One of the major benefits of antioxidants is that they can help to slow down the aging process because the antioxidants act as 'free radical scavengers' as they circulate in the body 'collecting' or 'mopping up' free radicals and preventing them from damaging the cells.
Antioxidants are produced by our body and may also be found in small amounts in the foods that we eat, particularly in fruits, vegetables and unprocessed oils. The best sources of antioxidants are the top antioxidant foods. We can also get them from various antioxidant supplements on the market.
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Living in a civilised society means our body is constantly being bombarded with free radicals virtually every second of the day and the small amount of antioxidants our body produces or that we get from an average food intake certainly does not compensate for the free radicals entering our body from the environment.
Accordingly, if we want to have our body cells functioning at optimum levels (and therefore assisting weight loss), if we want to recover faster from exercise, if we want to slow down the ageing process, if we want to resist disease as much as possible, and if we want to obtain all the benefits of antioxidants, then we must eat antioxidant foods or use an antioxidant supplement as often as possible.
Since specific antioxidants scavenge specific free radicals, in order to gain all the benefits of antioxidants, it is important to eat a variety of top antioxidant foods.
Now that we have answered the question, how do antioxidants work? And you now know the antioxidant facts, it is imperative that you add foods containing antioxidants to your diet every day.
One of the easiest ways to ensure you consume the top antioxidant foods every day is by simply having a teaspoon of BCN's SuperFood Blend. It contains a unique combination of 7 powerful superfoods and is loaded with antioxidants.
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