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.
Antioxidants and Your HealthWritten by Hamoon Arbabi
Get back to basics - eat fresh at home and neutralize free radical oxidation, which is rusting away your body, by eating a variety of foods high in antioxidants every day. Why? Antioxidants, as name implies, help prevent oxidation, may help increase immune function and possibly decrease risk of infection and cancer. A few of better known antioxidants include carotenoids-- substance that gives fruits and vegetables their deep rich colors. Apricots, broccoli, pumpkin, cantaloupes, spinach and sweet potatoes, are some good choices in addition to lycopene in tomatoes. Vitamin C and E are also good antioxidants. What's a Free Radical Anyways? As cells function normally in body, they produce damaged molecules called free radicals. These free radicals steal parts from other molecules such as fat, protein, or DNA, thereby spreading damage. This damage continues in a chain reaction, and entire cells soon become damaged and die. This process is useful because it helps body destroy cells that have outlived their usefulness and kills germs and parasites. However, this damage, when left unchecked, also destroys or damages healthy cells.