Antioxidants are molecules in the body that work against the process of oxidation, which produces free radicals in the body that can damage cells. These oxidation-fighting molecules enter the body through foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Free radicals weaken other cells that are responsible for the proper functioning of tissues and organs. The benefits of antioxidants include ridding the body of these destructive cells, thereby decreasing the chances of cancer, heart disease and other illnesses while keeping the body looking and feeling young.
Free radicals are a bi-product of the food, medicines and pollutants that enter the body. Exposure to sun and smoking can create free radicals. Although their presence is normal, having too many of them can have adverse effects on the body. These molecules attack other cells in order to become stable, but the attacked cells also strike back. This creates a non-stop process of cellular instability, which results in damaged and weakened cells.
The benefits of antioxidants include stopping this process and returning stability to the body. They prevent cell damage and improve the body’s ability to repair itself. Antioxidants fight off the negative effects of oxidative stress on the cells caused by free radicals. Their presence in the body not only stops cell degeneration, but helps healthy cells grow.
Studies have shown that the benefits of antioxidants also include reducing the incidence of cancer and other diseases in the body. Stress, pollution and aging can damage the immune system. Antioxidants keep the immune system strong thereby making it easier to fight off diseases.
The presence of antioxidants in the body helps slow the signs of aging by fighting against premature aging of cells. Staying youthful is one of the most sought after benefits of antioxidants. Keeping cells healthy inside the body keeps a person’s outer appearance looking healthy. Those with high numbers of antioxidants in the body tend to have healthier skin, less wrinkles and a more youthful appearance.
Individuals can reap the benefits of antioxidants by eating more fruits and vegetables. Nutritionists recommend including five servings daily of both fruits and vegetables for maximum benefit. Supplements can also introduce antioxidants into the body, but studies have shown they are not as effective as a diet of fruits and vegetables.
The most common antioxidants include Vitamin A, beta-carotene, Vitamin C, melatonin and Vitamin E. Foods high in antioxidants include corn, garlic, carrots, berries, peppers, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, almonds and brown rice. Supplements high in antioxidants include Intramax, Megahydrate and E3 Live.