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Antioxidants are commonplace in nature. In fact, antioxidants are abundant in more common vitamins such as retinol or Vitamin A, ascorbic acid or Vitamin C, tocopherol or Vitamin E, and selenium. They can be nutrients (vitamins and minerals) as well as enzymes (proteins in your body that assist in chemical reactions).
Antioxidant Enzyme During normal metabolic functions, highly reactive compounds called free radicals are created in the body. However, free radicals may also be introduced from the environment. These compounds are inherently unstable since they have an odd number of electrons. To make up for their shortage in electrons, these free radicals will react with certain chemicals in the body, and in so doing, they interfere with the cell's ability to function normally.
The result is a rapid chain reaction which when left unattended can lead to various degenerative diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, memory loss, etc. Natural antioxidants are primarily derived from plants. The human body cannot produce its own supply of natural antioxidants; that is why we have to depend solely on our diet to get the amount of antioxidants our body needs.
Antioxidants are substances that work on free radicals, or more particularly work to counteract the damaging effects of these harmful oxygen byproducts. Scientists have linked free radicals to the development of degenerative diseases, causing massive cell damage that ultimately results in various disorders, such as cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, heart disease, and much, much more.
They measured the dietary antioxidant and phenolic contents in honey taken from sevel floral sources, such as acacia, buckwheat, clover, firewood, Hawaiian Christmas berry, soybean, and tupelo. Using the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity or ORAC assay, they discovered that darker honeys have the highest values of dietary antioxidants.
Principal researcher Nicki Engeseth, a professor of food chemistry in the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmenal Sciences, agrees with this. Published online on April 6 in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the newest study on dietary antioxidants was the first to look at honey's effect on human blood.
The Top 20 list includes small red beans (dried), wild blueberry, red kidney beans, pinto beans, blueberry (cultivated), cranberry, artichokes (cooked), blackberry, prunes (dried plums), raspberry, strawberry, red delicious apples, Granny Smith apples, pecans, sweet cherries, black plums, russet potatoes (cooked), black beans (dried), plums, and gala apples.
Some antioxidant fruits may also be taken in dried, powdered forms, like dietary supplements or pills. There is some research though that antioxidant fruits may be taken better if you actually include them in your diet. Fruit, vegetables, and cereals in your diet have additional benefits compared to taking antioxidant fruits supplements.
In addition, they may also interrupt an oxidizing chain reaction to minimize the damage caused by free radicals. In sum, the main function of antioxidant enzymes is neutralizing free radicals. For the past decade, countless studies have been devoted to the beneficial effects of antioxidant enzymes. It has been found that a substantial link exists between free radicals and more than sixty different health conditions, including the aging process, cancer, and atherosclerosis.
This is the major reason why scientists are continuing to conduct studies on antioxidant foods and the benefits that the body can incur from them. Antioxidant Foods: Which Foods? As mentioned earlier, many foods with high antioxidant levels are vegetables and fruits. Tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers - these are but a few of the many antioxidant foods out there.
During the process of oxidation, highly unstable substances called free radicals are produced. These free radicals react with other molecules in the cell by stealing their electrons and turning them into free radicals like themselves. When this happens, a chain reaction is created, one that when accumulated could result in massive cell damage.
Free radicals at a minimum can be good for the body since their function is to steal electrons from atoms of other molecules, but only if the molecule they're stealing the electrons from are foreign molecules in the first place. If they are healthy molecules, well that's a different story all together.
Antioxidants are believed to play an important role in preventing the development of such chronic illnesses as heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, and cataracts. Although antioxidants cannot completely rid our bodies of free radicals, they can however work to retard or minimize the damage caused.
From preventing heart disease to slowing down degenerative diseases, to stopping cancer, to reducing blood pressure - you name it and everything points right back to antioxidants. The human body is incapable of producing its own concentration of antioxidants. For this reason, we depend solely on our diet in order to get the store of antioxidants we need to combat diseases.
There is growing evidence that the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), including free radicals, is behind the aging process and initiation of age-related disease. The reason free radicals are highly unstable is that they have an unpaired electron which they try to recompense by stealing an electron from a stable molecule.
There are several kinds of berries, as you well know, and each kind has a different concentration of antioxidants. In recent studies, purple berries (such as Elderberry and black currant) are considered as the richest antioxidant foods. However, raspberries, cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries are also good antioxidant foods that are rich in proanthocyanidins which help prevent cancer and heart disease.
Recently, scientists have discovered the substance responsible for many of the health benefits we've been receiving from plants. Fruits and vegetables it seemed contain chemical substances that act on specific, harmful molecules inside our bodies to stop them from damaging our cells. Because these substances work on oxygen by-products called free radicals, they have since come to be known as natural antioxidants.
Literary tools aside, super antioxidants do indeed react against the harmful effects of free radicals by stopping them from reacting with the molecules in the first place. Some super antioxidants may also act primarily to break off the chain reaction of free radicals. Others act by repairing damages caused by the accumulation of free radicals in tissues.
A better way would be to supplement the body with the "building blocks" required in order for our body to manufacture its own SOD, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and other such antioxidant enzymes. The building block nutrients of antioxidant enzymes include the minerals manganese, zinc, and copper for SOD and selenium for glutathione peroxidase.
Vitamin C antioxidant dietary supplement is perhaps the most famous form of antioxidant available. Also known as ascorbic acid, bottles of this antioxidant dietary supplement can be found in any pharmacy or health food store. Research show that this particular form of antioxidant dietary supplement greatly helps in boosting the immune system and thus aid in preventing the onset of degenerative diseases.
" And it's true because recent studies show that there are certain substances found in fresh fruits and vegetables that can be very beneficial to our health. Such substances are called super antioxidants. When you slice an apple and leave it on the table, you will notice that the flesh turns brown after some time.
Now, by "control", we don't mean controlling the process of oxidation itself, but controlling the outcome of it. The oxidation process is what makes a cut apple turn brown and causes the surface of butter to turn dark yellow. Our bodies will always be vulnerable to oxidation and it is something that is beyond our hands to control.
One of the many functions of natural antioxidants is to work against the formation of cellular damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive chemical substances which are produced whenever our body undergoes the process of oxidation, e.g. breathing. When free radicals are released, they immediately latch unto other molecules, stealing their electrons and in so doing, turning them into unstable molecules like themselves.
The Benefits of Flax Oil Lignans A natural plant chemical, lignans are antioxidant molecules with anti-cancer, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties. Flax oil is the richest source of lignans. Diets high in lignans can lead to a lower chance of getting colon, prostate, and breast cancer. As an antioxidant, the flax oil's lignans can help boost the body's immune system, keeping harmful, disease-causing germs from damaging the cells.