There is a lot of talk today about the importance of antioxidants and the impact that oxidative stress, free radicals, and air and water pollution has on our health. Research shows that the human body can only take so much of this daily abuse before disease starts to show up. With the daily intake of antioxidants, however, we can protect our cells from damage and live a longer and healthier life.
Cell damage is caused by free radicals, atoms or molecules with one or more unpaired electrons. Being unstable, they steal an electron from another molecule to regain balance in the process creating another free radical. This process is repeated until the energy of the free radical is spent or the reaction is stopped by an antioxidant.
Although breathing oxygen is essential to life, oxygen can also be your worst enemy. It starts a process in your body called oxidation, which is the formation of free radicals. The oxidation of copper which turns an “aged” green is a good example. Something similar happens when your body is exposed to air, light and poor nutrition. Air pollution, heavy exercise, stress, exposure to chemicals, radiation, fatty foods and normal metabolic processes all promote the formation of free radicals. Free radical oxidation damage is as harmful and destructive to your body and brain as corrosion is to your car. Just think of antioxidants as human “RustOleum”.
Antioxidants are naturally occurring nutrients found in certain fruits and vegetables. People who eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetable a day have been shown to have a lower risk of cancer. The sad truth is that only 9 percent of Americans and fewer in most other countries are eating 5 fruits and vegetables per day. The antioxidants that are found in foods include Vitamin A, C & E, the minerals selenium, zinc, antioxidant enzymes, polyphenols and all of the phytonutrient carotenoids.
Research shows that the benefits of Antioxidants include; Stronger Immune System, which builds resistance to flues, viruses and infections, reduces incidence of all cancers, prevention of glaucoma and macular degeneration, reduces risk of cholesterol-oxidation and heart disease and protects cells from aging and oxidative damage.
Today taking a whole food multiple vitamin/mineral supplement and Omega-3 is recommended by many nutritionists for a good foundation to cellular health.
Rhonda Donahue PhD. Author of “The Pollution Inside You!” & “New Zealand’s Natural Health Remedy” Direct Line (714)863-5959 http://rhondadonahue.com/