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Anti-Oxidants in Nutshell!!!!!

Posted Oct 18 2008 6:15am
Normal processes generate free radicals. They are also produced by a number of external factors such as pollution, tobacco and the sun. Another factor is stress; stress produces adrenaline-related products, which not only restricts blood flow to various parts of our body, but also generates potent, destructive free radicals. Free radicals are toxic molecules which are highly unstable. They attack healthy cells causing cellular damage, the root of many health problems. What is needed then is something to combat these free radicals-that is where anti-oxidants come into picture.
Antioxidants are chemicals that protect our cells by neutralizing external forces (such as damage from the sun, pollution, wind, and temperature) and internal factors (for example, emotions, metabolism, and the presence of excess oxygen). They counter the effect of toxic free radical molecules by stabilizing them. Common antioxidants are Vitamins A, C, E, and beta carotene.
Antioxidants can be endogenous (produced by the body) or exogenous (obtained through the diet). Endogenous antioxidants include enzymes, coenzymes and sulfur-containing compounds such as glutathione. Exogenous antioxidants include vitamins C and E, bioflavonoids and carotenes. In fact, the term “antioxidant” is applied to dozens of different kinds of nutrients, botanicals and supplements, from grape seed extract and selenium to alpha-lipoic acid and superoxide dismutase. So a healthy diet with good helpings of Vitamin C & E can give us our dose of much needed antioxidants. Fruits such as grapes, apples, bananas, melons, and citrus fruits (as well as juices of these fruits), and vegetables such as dark green leafy vegetables, carrots, cauliflower, onions, and beets all are very high in antioxidant content. Also nuts and mushrooms are high in antioxidants.
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