By Sophia White:
Our bodies have natural healing abilities that work when we have a healthy nutritious diet. Nature has provided many compounds that help keep us healthy and a diet rich in antioxidant food is a sure way to help our body’s cells to face everyday threats such as infections and viruses attacking them. Antioxidants help give our immune system a boost and allow it to do its job of protecting our bodies. Eating a diet made using antioxidant recipes allows our body to neutralize freeradicals that damage our cells and DNA. Some damaged cells can be repaired by antioxidants while others are just neutralized. Scientists believe that molecules called free radicals are contributing factors in the aging process. They are also thought to play a large part in diseases, like diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants are chemical compounds that can help stop or limit much of the damage caused by free radicals.
Antioxidants are used by our bodies to balance free radicals. Free radicals are formed as a by-product of our bodies metabolizing food. The Path to improved health Free radicals can be natural or man-made, as well as chemicals our body produces as part of the process of turning food into energy. They can also be environmental toxins,like pollution, tobacco, alcohol, drugs, ultraviolet rays from the sun or even tanning beds as well as substances found in processed food. Your body produces some antioxidants and you get them from certain foods and vitamins. Common antioxidants include: Vitamin A,Vitamin C,Vitamin E, lycopene, selenium, lutein, beta-carotene.
Most antioxidant food is obtained by eating a healthy diet, which contains a mixture of colourful fruits and vegetables. Vitamin A is found in dairy foods, eggs, and liver. Vitamin C is found in fruits and vegetables such as berries, plums, kiwis, oranges, pawpawand melons, vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, bell peppers, tomatoes and cauliflower. Vitamin E is found almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and peanuts, green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale. You can find it in sunflower, soybean and corn, oils. Beta-carotene is found in brightly colored vegetables and fruits, like stone fruit, pawpaw, mangoes, melons, broccoli, squash, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, spinach, and kale.
Lycopene is found in pink and red fruits and vegetables like watermelon plums,pink grapefruit, apricots and tomatoes. Lutein is found in green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, collards and in broccoli, peas, paw paw, corn and oranges. Selenium is found in grains like corn, wheat, and rice as well as animal products, like, chicken, turkey, beef, eggs, fish, nuts, legumes, and cheese. Each antioxidant has an individual chemical makeup and provides a different and unique health benefit. But taking too much of one type of antioxidant may be harmful. Always talk to a health specialist before taking supplements. Things to consider Antioxidants foods alone do not prevent chronic conditions, but having a diet rich in antioxidant recipes to go along with other healthy foods, giving you a well-balanced diet is a sure way to assist your body in coping with the stress of modern life