Antioxidants - Your Best Defense Against Disease and Aging
Studies support the benefits of eating a diet rich in fruits and
vegetables. This is due to their high antioxidant value. Why are
antioxidants so important? Because they have a proven track record
of fighting free radicals.
Your body is being constantly attacked by very harmful substances
known as free radicals or oxygen radicals. Free radicals can destroy
your cells, tissues and organs.
Free radicals are highly unstable molecules that are naturally
formed inside our bodies by the process of oxidation. They are
normal by products of everyday functions like digestion and physical
activity. Free radicals also come from outside sources, such as
smoking, environmental pollution, and synthetic chemicals that are
added to our water and food.
We are also all exposed daily to polluted air, ingest oxidized or
partially rancid foods, and oxidizing radiations from the sun and
various electrical appliances.
Free radicals lack one electron making them chemically unstable. To
stabilize themselves, they attack any other substance within reach
and steel an electron from it. This process creates a new free
radical, which repeats the process, producing a "domino effect."
When this reaction is uncontrolled, it can generate millions of free
radicals within seconds.
Fortunately our bodies come equipped with a free radical fighting
mechanism. It consists of specialized enzymes that have a "spare"
electron that they can give away without turning into free radicals.
In order to protect us, the enzymes need help from certain
substances known as antioxidants.
The antioxidant value of any food or supplement can be determined by
it's ORAC rating. ORAC means Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity.
According to the University of Michigan, Comprehensive Cancer
Center, the measurement of ORAC is a way to measure how many oxygen
radicals a specific food can absorb. The more oxygen radicals a food
can absorb, the higher its ORAC score. The higher its score... the
more that food or supplement will help you fight diseases like
cancer and heart disease.
Most experts agree that we should consume 5,000 ORAC units per day
to effectively fight free radicals in the body. Sadly, most of us
average around 1,200 units per day. Not nearly enough to protect us
from the common ciseases of aging.
One of the best sources of antioxidants are berries and fruits. Most
of us would have a very hard time eating the large amounts necessary
to reach 5,000 ORAC units per day. For this reason, high ORAC
supplements have been created. They contain berry and fruit extracts
with a known ORAC rating. These supplements are inexpensive and
provide many health benefits to your entire body and brain. Many
people use these supplements as part of an anti-aging program.
Keeping your cells from being destroyed goes a long way to staying
healthy and young.
About the author: Brad Bahr is the author of many health related
articles and websites. He has been testing and reviewing health
supplements for many years. You can find more interesting health
related articles at his website: www.findustuff.com">http://www.findustuff.com