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Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Antioxidants are substances or nutrients

I found this to be a good explanation to begin with:

Gloria Tsang, RD
Published in Dec 2005; Updated in Aug 2007
“What are Antioxidants? Benefits of Antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances or nutrients in our foods which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body. When our body cells use oxygen, they naturally produce free radicals (by-products) which can cause damage. Antioxidants act as "free radical scavengers" and hence prevent and repair damage done by these free radicals. Health problems such as

heart disease, macular degeneration, diabetes, cancer

etc are all contributed by oxidative damage. Indeed, a recent study conducted by researchers from London found that 5 servings of fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of stroke by 25 percent. Antioxidants may also enhance immune defense and therefore lower the risk of cancer and infection.”

In layman terms, since I am not a medical person or a nutritionist, one way it has been explained to me is that the free radicals are basically sick cells that can lead to bad things in our body. A free radical cell mutates and eventually grows into, maybe a tumor, and that may take up to ten years.

Ok, but what about antioxidants? Oh yah, well these seem to be the warriors against free radicals which means that they are the good guys.

So then, where do we find these antioxidants and how do we get them into our bodies so they can go to battle for us against the bad guy free radicals?

1. FRUITS
2. VEGETABLES

These are the main sources and the more the better. The above article states 5 servings a day are good, well now the USDA is suggesting nine or more everyday. Wow, how do I eat that many servings everyday? The average American gets about 2, maybe 3, some more but some less. According to American Dietary Trends: “The average American eats one and one-half servings of vegetables and one serving of fruit per day.”

Not even close the old suggestion of five much less 9 or more!

So what do we do? Load up the grocery cart with fruit and veggies tomorrow? That would be good but it’s hard to build up and change our diet that much isn’t it. How about drinking 13 servings of fruit everyday which includes a wide variety from all over the world and getting that in just 4 oz. of juice? Impossible? NO. Simple. In fact I do it everyday and so do thousands of others and what a difference it makes!

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