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Antioxidants - Your Body's Garbage Collector

By Jim Allen

Are you making the mistake of not eating enough antioxidants in your diet? I mean really, what is the harm? What, that is, aside from early aging, heart disease, cancer, and a host of other illnesses.

As someone who is concerned about your health, you should be very much aware of the foods you put into your body. But how many of us actually are?

If your health strategy is simply to eat what you want and hope for the best, you may be planting the seeds of your own future illnesses.

Antioxidants help to fight free radicals. But what are free radicals and why are they so harmful to your body? And why does your body need protection against them?

A free radical is a molecule with an unpaired electron. Because it has a free electron, it is highly reactive and very susceptible to oxidation.

Just think of how an exposed apple or potato turns brown when left uncovered. This is caused by oxidation. Well, this is what free radicals are doing to the inside of your body.

Free radicals are not useful as cells to the body. Instead, they steal nutrients from healthy cells - starving them. When healthy cells starve, they deteriorate, and in the process, weaken the body's immune defenses. This is why your body needs to rid itself of them as soon as possible.

Free radicals occur in our bodies every minute of the day. But environment has an effect also. The more you are in contact with toxic environments such as cigarette smoke, radioactivity, smog, pollution, and so on, the more free radicals your body will absorb.

So how can you slow the free radical onslaught against your body? The key is antioxidants.

Normally, a healthy body full of antioxidants, is capable of handling free radicals easily. But if your body is under physical or mental stress, your body's natural defense system may simply not have enough antioxidants available to fight the free radicals.

Antioxidants are believed to help protect the body from free-radical damage by interacting with free radicals in the body and short circuiting their harmful actions. They're scavengers, or garbage collectors. They help to rid your blood vessels and cells of radical cells that would harm you.

Clearly, with all the evidence so far, no reasonable person could ignore the wealth of evidence pointing to the importance of antioxidants.

Although, not conclusive, high antioxidants levels have lent to conclusions that they can slow aging, prevent heart attacks and strokes,

The best way to ensure that your body is loaded with enough antioxidants is to eat the recommended five to eight serving of fruits and vegetables a day. Especially, those with high levels of vitamins E, A, and C.

But, really, how many of us do that? The only people I know doing that are hard core vegetarians.

Therefore, even though, it may not be the best choice, you should seriously consider making nutrient supplements a part of your every day dietary routine.

Taking vitamins or supplements daily that contain antioxidants are a good way to maintain cellular health.

About The Author

Jim Allen is a health enthusiast and webmaster of


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