Antioxidants - Your Best Defense Against Disease and AgingWritten by Hamoon Arbabi
Studies support benefits of eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. This is due to their high antioxidant value. Why are antioxidants so important? Because they have a proven track record of fighting free radicals. Your body is being constantly attacked by very harmful substances known as free radicals or oxygen radicals. Free radicals can destroy your cells, tissues and organs. Free radicals are highly unstable molecules that are naturally formed inside our bodies by process of oxidation. They are normal by products of everyday functions like digestion and physical activity. Free radicals also come from outside sources, such as smoking, environmental pollution, and synthetic chemicals that are added to our water and food. We are also all exposed daily to polluted air, ingest oxidized or partially rancid foods, and oxidizing radiations from sun and various electrical appliances. Free radicals lack one electron making them chemically unstable. To stabilize themselves, they attack any other substance within reach and steel an electron from it. This process creates a new free radical, which repeats process, producing a "domino effect." When this reaction is uncontrolled, it can generate millions of free radicals within seconds. Fortunately our bodies come equipped with a free radical fighting mechanism. It consists of specialized enzymes that have a "spare" electron that they can give away without turning into free radicals. In order to protect us, enzymes need help from certain substances known as antioxidants.
Inviting Antioxidants to DinnerWritten by Hamoon Arbabi
This article was originally published in November 2004 issue of Zone Net Supplementing your diet with extra antioxidants is crucial to our bodies and our immune systems during times when we are more likely to come into contact with cold or flu viruses in packed shopping malls or other public places . Just what exactly are antioxidants? Well, antioxidants are essentially natural compounds that protect our bodies from free radical damage to our cells. This destructive process is called oxidation. Just like many metals oxidize and then rust, our own bodies tend to do same over time. The oxidation then results in specific chemical changes that impair healthy process that should be happening. It should be considered that free radicals are produced within body every single day from different chemical reactions which happen in each individual part of our bodies. You should understand that free radicals are produced outside of body as well, reaching us through sun-rays, toxic chemicals in our drinking water, second-hand as well as first-hand smoke, and pollution in general. It is believed by certain researchers that free radicals are a major reason for aging process and a cause of some illnesses. Antioxidants are there to basically absorb free radicals but due to sheer numbers of free radicals it is critical to incorporate antioxidants through certain foods plus dietary supplements so you can support your natural defenses.