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Antioxidants Protect Cells from Free Radical Damage
What's an antioxidant
Antioxidants are a variety of substances that are more than a few vitamins. They also include a mineral (silenium), flavonids, lycopene, and polyphenols also found in a variety of foods. Antioxidant properties are also found in beta carotene, & vitamins A, C, and E.
What Antioxidant's Do
Antioxidant's protect the cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals really represent damaged cells because they don't have the proper number of molecules. The cell will try and rob the missing molecue from wherever it can. It can even results in damage to the DNA structure. This is turn can create the beginning of disease or cancer, since the damaged DNA will replicate itself abnormally and out of control. This reaction tends to keep going and can cause cancer, heart disease, maybe even Alzheimer's.
Where Do Free Radicals Come From
The skin is bombarded daily with free radical and oxidative damage caused by sunlight. The effect of sunlight is mainly to the skin only. However, other substances internally cause free radical reactions. Cigarette smoke is one of the biggest offenders, since it is an active free radical generator. Quitting smoking is a big step in stopping the generation of free radicals. But there are other toxins in the environment, such as breathing polluted air from all the particulate matter that's around. It's just a fact of modern life.
What Can We Do
In order to get the right mix of antioxidants it's important to eat a variety of healthy foods. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, peas and beans are all important.
Almost all the articles you can read on this subject, the American heart Association, even the National Institute of Health will tell you the same thing--eat a well rounded diet.
In our modern lifestyle there is a tendency to eat on the run. Researchers say the daily traditional family meal with a well rounded variety of the food groups happens in American homes less than half the time.
Ok, so what if we just start with the reality of the situation. Most of the time Americans do not have a good, balanced diet! We know that as a fact. But if you really want to make sure you are getting the proper antioxidants, then consider the natural supplements that offer real extracts from fruits and vegetables. Even if your diet is not always as well rounded as it should be you would still be getting antioxidant protection you need with such supplements.
Other Steps to Take
But daily activities such as commuting to work will expose you to toxic particulate matter. It's a known fact that the free radical load in our modern life is much much more than it was a couple hundred years ago. So it's important to take all the measures we can to try and reduce the damage of free radicals.
Help From Natural Supplements
Both provide the natural extracts from fruits and vegetables to help protect you. It's a step toward prevention of serious diseases such as cancer. A 1993 Chinese cancer prevention study showed a mixture of vitamin E, beta-carotene and selenium did reduce the incidence of gastric cancer in Chinese men. So it's a good preventative step to make sure you get the right amount of antioxidants.