10 Things to Know About Antioxidants
Antioxidants. We hear about them all of the time. We know that they are good for us. But what do you really know about antioxidants? Do you know all of the basic things that you need to know? You will by the time that you get done reading this article.
Here is a look at ten things to know about antioxidants:
1. They help you to stay young. One of the main reasons that people are so interested in antioxidants is because they help to prevent a lot of the issues that are associated with aging. They actually help to prevent aging at the cellular level. It’s a complicated process related to how antioxidants bind free radicals in the body but the point here is that your cells will be safe for years. The result is that you will look and feel younger for a long time if you consume a diet that is rich in antioxidants.
2. Antioxidants help to boost your immune system. One of the best immediate benefits of increasing your intake of antioxidants is that your immune system will improve. You’ll be better able to fight off colds and you’ll generally feel better.
3. They may (or may not) prevent cancer. Many people believe that antioxidants are capable of preventing cancer. There are some studies available that indicate that this is true. However, there are also many studies that are inconclusive. Antioxidants are healthy for you but it’s not certain yet whether or not they prevent cancer.
4. Bodybuilders use antioxidants. Believe it or not, bodybuilders and weightlifters are interested in the use of antioxidants. No, of course these antioxidants don’t specifically build muscle. However, they do have the power to improve the natural repair rate of the body. This is related to the same way in which antioxidants boost the immune system. The reason that bodybuilders are particularly interested in this is because it means that their muscles get repaired more quickly which allows for improved muscle-building.
5. Certain vitamins are also antioxidants. For example, Vitamin C is an antioxidant. It has many of its own health-promoting properties that are separate from the fact that it is an antioxidant. Not all antioxidants are vitamins but some vitamins are in fact antioxidants. You may already be getting a lot of antioxidants without realizing it if you’ve been focused on eating vitamin-rich foods.
6. There are special diets available that are rich in antioxidants. If you need help figuring out how to get enough antioxidants into your body then you might want to choose a special diet that is rich in antioxidants. The O2 diet is the most popular example of an antioxidant-rich diet. In fact, it’s often called the antioxidant diet. Even if you didn’t stick with it, it would provide you with a good starting point for getting antioxidants into your diet.
7. You don’t need a special diet; just look for colorful foods. A special antioxidant-rich diet is great but you don’t need one if you know what to look for when looking for antioxidants. The main rule to follow is to look for the most colorful foods in nature. Blueberries, lemons, pineapple, spinach, kale … These are all foods that are rich in antioxidants. Think of blandly colored foods like potatoes and you’ll be thinking about foods that aren’t rich in antioxidants. This isn’t always true; there are nuts and seeds that are rich in antioxidants but if you’re just getting started with seeking out antioxidant-rich foods then looking for brightly colored food is the best choice.
8. Natural antioxidants are best. Antioxidants are very popular these days which means that it is no surprise that there are supplements and vitamins available that you can take to get your antioxidants into your diet. Additionally, some food manufacturers are now including chemical antioxidants in their ingredients. It’s always best, however, to get antioxidants naturally from the foods that are rich in antioxidants.
9. Antioxidants have to be part of a total healthy diet. Some of the foods that are rich in antioxidants aren’t necessarily healthy for you when consumed in large doses. For example, it has recently been found that maple syrup is filled with antioxidants but it wouldn’t be healthy to eat buckets f maple syrup every day. Likewise, coffee and dark chocolate have antioxidants but they also contain caffeine so it’s important to limit your intake of them. Use common sense when including antioxidant-rich foods into your diet, eating moderate amounts of foods that require other health considerations.
10. Some foods counteract the benefits of antioxidants. Although it’s important to eat a well-rounded diet, you will eventually want to learn about the ways in which some foods actually decrease the benefits of antioxidants. For example, one study found that if you consume milk when eating blueberries then the antioxidant benefits of the blueberries are negated due to the way that the blueberries interact with the milk protein. As you get more and more into the consumption of antioxidant-rich foods, you will want to research food combinations or speak to your doctor about the issue.
There is a lot that you can learn about antioxidants. You can research the different foods that have the most antioxidants in them. You can learn about special diets and recipes that are rich in antioxidants. However, these ten things are the basic things that you need to know to get a good grasp on what antioxidants are, what benefits they have and which foods to find them in.
Sources: http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/living_longer_diet.html, http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/antioxidants, http://www.naturalnews.com/025516_blueberries_antioxidant_cancer.html