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Antioxidants

What are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are man-made and natural substances that work to prevent cell damage in our body. They can be found in food, as well as be produced by the body. So how do antioxidants work? Well our bodies naturally produce free radicals as a byproduct to cellular reactions. Free radicals are the result of oxidative damage. When our free radicals level is higher than our antioxidant level, we have accelerated aging, damaged or mutated cells, broken-down tissue, the activation of harmful genes within DNA, and an overloaded immune system. So what do they actually do? Simply put antioxidants inhibits oxidation. Today, the level of antioxidants in any substance or food is evaluated with an ORAC score, which stands for “oxygen radical absorption capacity. ORAC tests the power of a plant to absorb and eliminate free radicals. These measurements were developed by the National Institute of Aging and are based on 100 grams of each food or herb. 

Where Can I Get Antioxidants?

The American Heart Association, along with the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic, recommend getting it from whole foods and a wide variety of foods. While it’s always ideal, and usually more beneficial, to get nutrients directly from real food sources, certain types may also be helpful when consumed in supplement form. Antioxidants are found in many foods, including fruits, vegetables and are also available as a dietary supplement. Some great food sources include; leafy green veggies, berries, dark chocolate, peacans and kidney beans. Or in herbs such as cloves, cinnamon and oregano. If you still struggle to get antioxidants in your diet there are a ton of supplements that can help. Including Glutathione, Lutein, Vitamin C, Astaxanthin or Selenium. Examples of antioxidants include:

  • Beta-carotene
  • Lutein
  • Lycopene
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E

So what are the benefits?

Some benefits of having a higher antioxidant levels are :

  • Slows the effects of aging
  • Protect Vision
  • Help Prevent Stroke and Heart Disease
  • Can Help Prevent Cognitive Decline, Such as Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease  

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