Antioxidants are the latest version of supplements in the health and fitness industry and they can be found in many different products today. Everywhere you turn, you hear about antioxidants. However, how many of us really know what antioxidants are and what they do? Antioxidants belong to a class of phytochemicals and vitamins that are critical to stopping the free radical oxidative process. This oxidative process is also known as aging, and is the reason why antioxidants are known for their anti-aging properties. An analogy of this would be the rust that occurs on many metals due to the oxidation process. This is the same thing that happens inside our bodies when cells age and die through a process called upon apoptosis, which contributes to the aging process.
The major antioxidant that our body produces naturally is known as glutathione, and it can be recycled by taking vitamins B, C, E as well as other antioxidants. Antioxidants help to kill off the free radicals that roam free in our bodies. These free radicals are a result of the natural aging process as well as diets that do not include sufficient nutrients. This fast food world that we live in is full of chemicals and processed foods that help to build up these free radicals within our bodies. It is the job of antioxidants to rid our bodies of these damaging free radicals that can lead to other health problems.
The market today is full of many different antioxidant supplements such as pills, drinks and other products that all claim to help fight the anti-aging process and protect you from various cancers. Many of them do have the vitamins and minerals that are needed to strengthen our immune system and will have a positive effect on our health. However is supplementing with antioxidants more beneficial than getting antioxidants in their natural form? Antioxidants are just now getting the recognition for a job they have been doing for a long time. Any time that you take vitamin C, vitamin A or a vitamin E supplement you are taking antioxidants. The reason for their popularity in recent years is because scientists have discovered that they have excellent properties that can help to fight off many types of cancer.
It should be noted that the American Heart Association does not consider supplementing with antioxidants to be particularly beneficial. They believe that our body does not absorb antioxidant supplements as well as it does the natural vitamins that come from eating vegetables and fruits. They believe that supplementing with antioxidant vitamins will not harm you, but that they will probably not do you much benefit either. This point is still being debated, as many doctors believe that antioxidant supplements are good for your health and can help you to get the proper antioxidants that you are not getting in your diet.
More and more often today, all indications are that a diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables with a minimum amount of lean protein and low fat can help you to live a healthy and rewarding life. Antioxidants can be found in many of the fruits and vegetables that we consume or at least should consume on a daily basis. Most doctors recommend getting our natural antioxidant supply from fruits and vegetables rather than supplements. One of the most old-fashioned forms of antioxidants is vitamin C, and it can be found in a common glass of orange or grapefruit juice!
What should be noted if you choose to use antioxidant supplementation is that less is better. There are studies that indicate that high doses of antioxidant supplementation can do more harm than good. Moderate supplementation of antioxidant vitamins can have a beneficial effect, however higher doses can lead to oxidative damage and reduced exercise performance. If you want to include antioxidants as a part of your overall diet you need to look no further than the fruit and vegetable aisle of your local grocery store. The benefits of antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables far outweigh any supplement that can be found on the market. Remember the more colorful the fruits and vegetables that you select the more beneficial they will be for you.
In conclusion most food supplements are fine to take and they help provide our bodies with vitamins and nutrients if we do not get them in the foods that we eat. However in the case of antioxidants it is best to obtain them from natural sources such as fruits and vegetables that also contain fibre and are low in fat. These foods should be incorporated into any diet that is considered to be healthy. Supplementation is usually recommended to help fight off the higher levels of pollution and stress that most people find themselves under today. However as a food supplementation it is best to obtain our antioxidant supply from the natural sources that Mother Nature provides us with.