We all know how bad free radicals can be for our health. But what are they? To put it simply, free radicals are particles that allow extra oxygen into human cells, which causes the cells to break. Antioxidant vitamins can stop this distractive process.
Foods high in antioxidant vitamins
All doctors recommend including a variety of fruits and vegetables into your diet. These bring many benefits to your health, being low in fat and high in fiber. But they are also very rich in antioxidants. Brightly colored vegetables and fruits contain the most antioxidants. So including beetroot, carrots and red capsicum in your everyday menu, would serve you a reasonable amount of antioxidants.
Here are foods richest in antioxidants
* red grape
* sunflower seeds
* green tea
* coffee without milk
Common vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E are all powerful antioxidants, so all fruits rich in these vitamins should be included. But there are many more, for example red wine and red grape contains Reservatrol, an important antioxidant. Another great antioxidant Flavonoid can be found in green tea. So, the most sensible thing to do is to include a wide variety of different fruits, vegetables and berries in your diet. Berries are particularly good, because they all contain large quantities of antioxidant vitamins.
And there is one more source of antioxidants, a food that is usually on a “bad for you” list – chocolate. But it has to be dark chocolate; milk chocolate doesn’t have antioxidant properties. When you eat chocolate, or any antioxidant food, avoid drinking milk at the same time. Milk significantly reduces the effect of antioxidants.
Antioxidant vitamin supplements
Getting vitamins and antioxidants from natural sources is of cause the best. However, with our busy lives many people can’t eat as much fresh produce as they would like. Also bear in mind that when you buy vegetables and fruits during winter months, their antioxidant value is very low. Most vitamins are easily destroyed by light and storage, so tomatoes that are sold in a supermarket in December give you almost no health benefits, even though in general a tomato is considered a good source of antioxidants.
In this case antioxidant supplements can be beneficial. There are plenty of vitamins and dietary supplements on the market. Some of them are specifically marketed as “antioxidant supplements” others are just a variety of vitamins. Many multivitamins contains 100% of all essential vitamins for your health. Also remember, that Vitamin C is an antioxidant, and multivitamins usually don’t contain enough of Vitamin C. So it makes since to take additional Vitamin C supplements.
Whether or not vitamin supplements are as good for you as antioxidants from natural sources is debatable. Some doctors say that by taking antioxidant supplements you can meet most of your antioxidant needs. Others argue that supplements are not as beneficial as vitamins you get from food.
The problem is that vitamins in a pill are not as easily absorbed by our bodies as nutrients we get from food. So eating mostly fast food and taking antioxidant vitamin supplements to compensate is not such a good idea after all.
You can also get natural antioxidant supplements, like grape seed extract. These are absorbed better, than synthetic vitamins.
Other benefits of antioxidants
Doctors emphasize the importance of antioxidants because of their ability to prevent and fight cancer. But there are many other health benefits – antioxidants boost your immune system, helping you feel and look young. If consumed regularly, antioxidant vitamins have an amazing anti-aging effect.
Find out what other antioxidant vitamins are essential to your health. Tanya Turner publishes an online health magazine Antioxidants 4 Health where you can find reviews of best antioxidant supplements.
By Tanya Turner