This is an extensively researched and reviewed article about the power and benefits of antioxidant vitamins. It is designed to be helpful as a source of information about these special nutritional minerals, to answer your questions about antioxidant vitamins, and showcase their special features and benefits.
Antioxidant vitamins handle many vital functions in your body. Much research has gone into their study in the field of prevention of diseases and slowing down aging. Heart disease, cancer, and diseases of old age are all delayed or reversed through their effect.
The role these vitamins play is in bringing free radicals under control. Oxygen free radicals are unstable cellular molecules that act as free agents, causing damage to vital organelles within the cell. The lack of an electron in their orbitals makes them unstable, which results in their ability to damage tissue.
A weakening in the structure of their electron orbitals is what makes free radicals lose an electron, an effect produced through environmental influences or metabolic processes. To acquire an electron from some other molecules, these radicals cause injury.
Antioxidant vitamins can bring these rampaging culprits under control. They achieve this through the simple expedient of donating an electron to them. Once this happens, the oxygen radicals no longer are aggressive. As injury to other cells is avoided, there is less aging, or disease and metabolic processes hum along smoothly. What was once a chaotic internal cellular milieu has changed into a stable and safe one.
Which vitamins have a counter-oxidant effect? Vitamin C, A, and E are the best known. When these vitamins donate an electron to radicals, they do not themselves become unstable because they are more balanced and can survive instability even with one electron less. That is why they have such a powerful antioxidant effect, and prevent cell and tissue injury.
Several studies have confirmed the protective effect of these vitamins against cancer, heart disease, skin wrinkling, atherosclerosis and other disorders. All these effects are brought about by the ability of these vitamins to donate an electron, neutralizing the damaging effects of oxygen free radicals. In fact, some research even suggests a beneficial effect on chronic disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
Antioxidant vitamins can be consumed in a regular diet or as supplements. The recommended daily intake of these vitamins is prescribed by nutritionists and must be met to achieve the desired protective effect. Too much of any vitamin can disturb the internal balance of your body and not produce greater benefits than with correct dose supplementation.
Antioxidant Vitamins – Why Should We Bother?
Antioxidant vitamins are familiar terms to most of us these days. We hear how important they are in protecting our bodies from free-radical damage and reducing oxidative stress. What you may not know is that there are many whole foods as well as supplements we can nourish and support our body systems with. So why should we bother adding antioxidant vitamin supplements if there are so many food sources available? In this busy world, it’s difficult to find the time to prepare enough of the right foods rich in antioxidants to stay on top of the ongoing battle of free-radical damage.
Antioxidant vitamins taken consistently with a well-balanced diet can add the necessary firepower against free-radical damage known to cause aging, tissue damage, and diseases such as cancer. Free radicals are oxygen molecules lacking an even number of electrons. They look for other stable molecules to steal electrons from in order to become stable themselves. This “robbing” of electrons from the healthy molecules weakens them and turns them into free radicals too, which eventually leads to cellular damage.
Antioxidant vitamins neutralize free radicals. In doing so, the antioxidants themselves become oxidized, and that is why there is a constant need to replenish our bodies with these super vitamins on a regular basis.
A few of the many foods rich in antioxidants include:
– Artichoke hearts
– Ground Cloves
The best kind of antioxidant vitamin supplements is of the high quality organic food-based variety. It’s also best to take a supplement with a combination of different antioxidants to neutralize the most free radicals possible. There are many products on the market, including some new ground-breaking ones tailored to your needs. With the ever-increasing awareness of our health and well-being today, learning to take better care of ourselves in a fast-paced and hectic world is something we can all do to improve the life we have.
How to Obtain Antioxidant Vitamins
Antioxidant vitamins include vitamins A, C and E. They are called antioxidant vitamins because they are effective in neutralizing the damaging effects of free radicals. Free radicals are said to be the number one cause of aging and many degenerative diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Therefore, making these vitamins a part of your daily diet will help you to ward off disease, and thereby be able to enjoy a long and happy life.
Antioxidant vitamins can be obtained from supplements. However, obtaining them from natural foods such as fruits and vegetables is a far better choice, as they come in a healthy balance mixed with other vitamins and minerals. The thing with supplements is that they are often not balanced, which can then lead to an overdose on certain nutrients.
However, supplement make it very convenient for you to pop a pill, and know that you have taken your recommended daily amount. You can also obtain this assurance from fruits and vegetables by making them your primary source of food. In addition, you should opt for a wide variety of colors, as each color pigment will offer a slightly different set of nutrients. Although all foods are good, those that are rich in antioxidants will be of a greater benefit, if your goal is to reduce free radicals in your body.
Foods That Contain Antioxidant Vitamins
Vitamin A. Vitamin A is also known as beta-carotene and is a fat soluble vitamin. This means that it is better absorbed when consumed with a moderate dose of healthy fats such as avocados and coconut oil. On top of being able to neutralize free radicals, vitamin A is also beneficial for good eyesight, the immune system, and the skin.
It is found in good amounts in fruits such as grapefruit, mango, papaya, tomatoes, and watermelon. Vegetables that contain vitamin A include carrots, pumpkin, broccoli, peas, sweet potato and many leafy greens. Pistachios and pecans are also good sources.
Vitamin C. Vitamin C is beneficial for building up the immune system and fighting off the common cold. It is also good for the heart, as it can lower high blood pressure.
It is found in good amounts in fruits such as oranges, papaya, pineapple, strawberries, and kiwi. Many leafy greens, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are good vegetable sources.
Vitamin E. Vitamin E is another fat soluble vitamin. It is beneficial for the skin and can help to ward off cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin E can be obtained in good amounts from fruits such as avocados, blueberries, mangoes, peaches, mulberries, and raspberries. Good vegetable sources include butternut squash, potatoes, pumpkins, spirulina and Swiss chard. Almonds, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds are also excellent sources.