ANTIOXIDANTS AND OXIDATION

Antioxidants do what they sound like – they inhibit oxidation. We all have antioxidants in our body and can obtain more from the foods that we eat.  But what is oxidation?   Oxidation is a process that damages cell membranes, proteins, lipids and DNA.  This process creates free radicals.  Our body naturally creates free radicals that have specific purposes, but an excess of free radicals in the body is linked to disease.  Oxidative damage and inflammation are the two leading causes of disease.

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PROBLEMS FROM EXCESS OF Free radicals:

  • Inflammation of the joints
  • Damage to nerve cells in the brain (Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s)
  • Acceleration of aging
  • Deterioration of eye lens
  • Increased risk of coronary heart disease
  • Cancers, triggered by DNA damage

ANTIOXIDANTS

Antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C and E, minerals copper, zinc and selenium neutralize free radicals, preventing the damage caused by oxidation.  Phytochemicals in plants such as lycopenes in tomatoes and anthocyanins in cranberries have been found to be even more potent than the nutrient antioxidants above.

image credit: agingcare.com

The level of antioxidants now is given and ORAC score –
OXYGEN RADICAL ABSORPTION CAPACITY
Here are some that score high:

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Source

Antioxidants reverse all of the problems that free radicals cause, thus eating a diet full of them helps to keep you in good health!

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