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What Are Antioxidants And How Do They Help You?

| Articles | August 5, 2013

Antioxidants are natural chemicals found in the body. Free radicals are the results of processes in cells that can damage cell walls, structure and genetic material. Antioxidants help prevent this from occurring. They occur naturally in the body and can also be added with diet and supplements.

Supplements such as vitamins A, C and E and selenium all contain antioxidants. Supplements are widely available at health food stores, grocery stores and pharmacies. They come in forms such as tablets, capsules and soft gels and are taken orally. It is recommended to seek out a multi antioxidant pack as opposed to a single one. It is also recommended that supplements be taken to enhance the natural diet, not replace it. Patients suffering from illness and under treatment of prescribed medication should consult a physician before adding antioxidant supplements to their diet. A physician will be able to help recommend required doses for supplements and suggest dietary changes that will best compliment treatments already in progress. Antioxidant supplements for otherwise healthy individuals are generally free from side effects and safe to use.

Although supplements can be beneficial, studies indicate that they are not as effective as eating fruits and vegetables where antioxidants are naturally present. Foods such as onions, tomatoes, grapes, green tea and pomegranates all contain antioxidants. Also, herbs such as garlic and rosemary have it. Because fruits and vegetables contain other beneficial elements, eating them as opposed to a single supplement is much better.

It is reported that antioxidants can help prevent a number of illnesses. Heart disease is reported to be preventable by using vitamin E. Vitamin C can help control blood pressure. Antioxidants are also shown to help prevent diseases such as diabetes and certain cancers. In addition to preventing diseases, it is believed antioxidants can help slow the effects of aging like wrinkled skin and loss of muscle.

Antioxidants are proven to be beneficial to the body to help ward off disease and illness. Serious diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes may be prevented with proper antioxidant levels. These occur naturally in the body and are present in many foods and herbs, especially fruits and vegetables. A well balanced diet filled with foods containing antioxidants is recommended and is the best way to enhance dietary requirements. However, if your diet does not contain enough of these foods, a supplement can be used. These should be taken with meals twice per day and it is recommended to use multi-packs as opposed to single doses.

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