The term “antioxidant” is becoming more common place, and there are many health products that are promoting their products because of the high levels of antioxidants that they contain. Antioxidants are nutrients found in food, which work to repair damage and prevent health problems. One of the best ways to improve your overall health is to include more antioxidant rich foods in your daily meal plans.
Why Antioxidants Are Important
The normal process of aging causes cells to breakdown within the body, and our bodies are always replenishing by getting rid of damaged cells and replacing them with new cells. These damaged cells are known as “free radicals,” and they can cause serious health problems such as cancer, heart disease, and numerous other life-threatening illnesses.
As we get older, the body has a harder time keeping up with the cleanup process, which means that we are more likely to be affected by disease and illness. Additionally, if we are following an unhealthy lifestyle, there will be more internal damage that needs to be taken care of because unhealthy lifestyles cause more free radicals to occur.
Luckily, the body has a natural system in place to get rid of the free radicals. When antioxidants are consumed, they work to get rid of the free radicals within your body. Even though damage naturally occurs on a daily basis, a sufficient amount of antioxidants and phytochemical will effectively clean up the free radicals, and even repair damage that has already occurred.
How to Get Antioxidants
The human body is unable to create antioxidants on its own, so it is necessary to eat foods that are high in these nutrients. It is also important to note that when antioxidants are used to get rid of free radicals, they cannot be used again. This means that it is essential for you to constantly re-supply your body with plenty of foods that are high in antioxidants.
Antioxidants are found in plant based foods such as: fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, and whole grains. Actually, many different types of antioxidants can be gained by eating different types of food, so it is best to eat a variety of these foods on a daily basis. There are not found in animal product or refined foods.
Here are some of the antioxidants that are available in our food… you may be surprised to learn that there are a few nutrients that you recognize: beta carotene, selenium, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin E. These are just a few of the antioxidants that are available; there are many others that can be gained by eating natural, nutrient rich foods, also known as “nutrient dense” foods.
According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Healthy Times Newsletter No. 32, antioxidants work within the body to locate free radicals and destroy them so that they are harmless. Some of the best antioxidants are available in cruciferous vegetables, and these foods contain phytochemicals that fight the free radicals and actually activate an antioxidant control system within the body that are fueled by these essential nutrients.
On the other hand, getting antioxidants from a supplement will fight the free radicals one at a time, but the control system is not activated to continue fighting. Sometimes those supplements may cause even more problems, because they create more free radicals within the body. So, the best source of antioxidants is from nutrient rich foods.
The Best Sources of Antioxidants
Some people mistakenly think that they can improve their health by simply taking a supplement or drinking a high quality juice each day. So, they take their supplement in the morning, and then proceed to go about their day eating any kind of unhealthy junk food products that they want. This practice is not beneficial; you will not have health you can count on, if you choose to follow this pattern!
These unhealthy, refined foods are loaded with harmful chemicals, preservatives, and additives. No amount of “super-juice” can make up for the damage that is caused by these products. Additionally, there are so many types of antioxidants that are available in nutrient rich foods, making it virtually, no actually “completely” impossible to get all of the nutrients that you need in a single supplement.
Instead of looking for a supplement to improve your health, your best option is to eat more nutrient rich foods rich in antioxidants and other phytochemicals. Some of the best types of food to eat are the fruits and vegetables that are bright in color. For example, here are a few fruits and vegetables that will provide your body with a good source of antioxidants: any type of green leafy vegetable, berries, bell peppers, oranges, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, cantaloupe, etc.
Including fresh fruits and vegetables with every meal will protect your health, and provide your body with the nutrients that it needs to fight the free radicals and prevent disease. Remember that every little bit helps, so start eating more fruits and vegetables throughout the day to improve your overall health.
Here at nutrientrich.com you are learning that it's not just a matter of adding more antioxidant rich foods to your diet on top of the typical SAD (standard American diet) foods most people eat, but that for maximum health which yields all the benefits many hear about but never come close to experiencing, you develop an eating plan that is "90% or More Plant-Based Nutrient Rich!"
Talk about getting lots of antioxidants; these foods need to make up the majority of what you eat.
That's how you stay healthy!