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Article - Tips For Achieving Your Best Antioxidant Protection
Antioxidants represent a crucial line of defense in each of our bodies. They serve to neutralize free radicals, which pose multiple threats to our well-being. Simply put, free radicals are made up of an odd number of electrons, and they attack cells in order to pair up electrons. When these free radicalsare successful in their assault, many complications and diseases can occur. Cancer, Heart Attack, Diabetes, and AIDS are just a few of the diseases directly caused by these free radicals. In addition to breaking down DNA and cell structure, free radicals also speed the aging process. Therefore, it’s not hard to see the importance of maintaining the best antioxidant protection possible. In this article, we will give you some easy tips for achieving and maintaining this vital resource.
Maintain a Proper Diet
It should come as no surprise that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and grains should represent your first line of defense against free radicals. These foods are all high in natural antioxidants, and provide your body with countless nutrients.
Vitamins and Minerals
There are several essential nutrients that work to scavenge these free radicals. Vitamins A, C, and E have great antioxidant properties, as do copper,selenium, and zinc. These supplements all help in the prevention of damage by free radicals.
Stay Away From Tobacco and Alcohol
These two substances contain an abundance of free-radical producing toxins, and should be avoided whenever possible.
Avoid Over-Exposure To Sunlight
In addition to many pollutants found in the air that we breathe (which we have little control over), free-radicals can also be found in the ultra-violet rays emitted by the sun. If you have to spend an increased amount of time in the sun, be sure to use a strong sunscreen to offset the exposure.
Your Best Defense
Hopefully, these tips will help you increase the amount of antioxidants you have available to seek out these harmful free radicals. Ultimately, you serve as your body’s best defense against sickness, disease, and aging. By following a healthy lifestyle, you can provide yourself with a sense of security and peace of mind.
Dean Iggo is the webmaster of www.vitaminsupplementreview.com which reviews a number of different vitamins and supplements including weight loss, herbal and bodybuilding supplements
JUST WHAT ARE "FREE RADICALS"? -- The term "free radical" seems to appear a lot lately in everything from vitamins brochures to cosmetic advertisements. No one seems to explain what exactly one is. Free radicals are highly-reactive and unstable molecules that can cause serious cellular damage. These molecules contain atoms with unpaired electrons.
An unpaired electron has a tremendous pull on the atoms of other cells causing these cells to become disrupted, this can cause a chain reaction resulting in many aging problems. This aging is like oxidation of the body similar to metal rust.
The same oxygen that causes metal to rust causes free radicals in our bodies which causes it to age or "rust".
Free radicals are produced not only through normal bodily processes, but also from other sources such as air pollution and tobacco smoke. Free radicals attack many of your vital cellular components, including cellular membranes and DNA.
They also stimulate processes that have been linked to accelerated cellular aging.
Antioxidant SELENIUM -- Selenium has been found to be beneficial in the fight against free radicals, which contribute to premature aging, among other things. Selenium is found in the highest concentrations in seafoods, grains, muscle meats, and Brazil nuts. A multi-vitamin that contains between 70-100 mcg is recommended, but an additional supplement is not necessary.
Along with reducing fat and salt intake, not smoking, and regular exercise, eating foods rich in antioxidants (fruits, vegetables, nuts, and leafy greens) should help reduce the damage caused by these free radicals. For those who don't eat a well-balanced diet, taking supplements is highly recommended. Smokers especially, should consider taking antioxidants daily.
ANTIOXIDANTS BATTLE HIGH FAT MEALS - Researchers have measured how much damage just one high fat meal can cause. They've shown how, for at least six hours afterwards, arteries are unable to expand to properly handle the blood flow needed during physical or emotional stress.
Scientists believe this may be one reason why people who already have "clogged" arteries so often suffer heart attacks soon after eating a high-fat meal. Scientists have suspected that a sudden high dose of fat triggers oxidation. This results in the release of certain chemicals in the body that damage the inner layer of cells that line the heart and blood vessels. They hypothesized that introducing antioxidants may counteract the process.
Antioxidants Before Eating High Fat Foods Prevents Damage to Arteries
To test their theory, scientists at the University of Maryland first measured the arteries in volunteers' arms, then invited them to eat a high-fat meal, including hash browns, eggs, cheese and sausage, which contained 50 grams of fat. But before they ate, they also took two popular antioxidants; 800 units of vitamin E and 1,000 mg of vitamin c. After the meal, technicians again measured the volunteers' arteries. This time, they found no damage to the arteries. The vitamins supported cardiovascular integrity.
Research Shows Antioxidants Provide Lasting Benefits
"The exciting thing to us is we could see an immediate, beneficial, profound physiological effect," said Dr. Gary Plotnick, co-author of the study. The researchers measured artery response for up to six hours after the meal and found the vitamins provided a lasting benefit. "We were surprised by the magnitude of the results," said Dr. Robert Vogel. "There's been a great debate about the use of antioxidant vitamins and we were surprised to see how powerful just one dose of antioxidant vitamins were on this important process."
Research on dietary lycopene suggests that it may lower the risk of heart attack. A study of over 1,300 European men indicates that those who consumed the most lycopene from foods had about half the risk of heart attack.
ANTIOXIDANTS -- When you exercise heavily, you need additional antioxidants according to a leading researcher. Exercise stimulates your body's production of "free radicals" that attack cells, leading to long-term damage and a higher risk of cancer. To counteract the exercise hazard, experts suggest taking antioxidant supplements daily, notably vitamin E (400 IU) and vitamin C (1000 mg).
Colors of Fruits and Vegetables -- Vegetables and fruits with the deepest colors contain the highest levels of antioxidant nutrients.
Brewed Coffee Antioxidants -- Brewed coffee seems to create hundreds of new chemicals that appear to have antioxidant qualities. Each chemical is present in only tiny amounts, but taken together in a cup of coffee, they could add up to have about the same antioxidant effect as three oranges.
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