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- Watch Dr Kevin Passero, N.D. discuss the benefits of antioxidants from fruit sources. This three minute video explains why combination antioxidant products work best.Watch Video
Antioxidants are frequently featured in health news, especially as new discoveries like resveratrol from red wine are found. But what are antioxidants and what benefit do they offer? An antioxidant is a naturally occurring substance and may come in the form of a vitamin, mineral, amino acid, enzyme or even a hormone. Antioxidants work to counteract the negative effects of free radicals. A free radical occurs during the natural process of oxidation in the body, and while some free radicals are necessary for other functions, excessive exposure to the sun or exposure to pollutants or smoke can lead to an overabundance of free radicals. Free radicals can then damage healthy cells leading to aging and possibly contributing to diseases like Alzheimer’s or cardiovascular disease. Antioxidants may be the ultimate antiaging agent as they neutralize free radicals before they damage healthy cells.
There are many antioxidant rich foods. Fruits, including pomegranate and blue berries, vegetables, like carrots or tomatoes, and whole grains are good sources of natural antioxidants. Other food sources rich in antioxidants include tea, particularly green tea, and even chocolate! Dark chocolate is especially rich in antioxidants but should be used in moderation. Not everyone has a balanced diet so many seek the benefit of an antioxidant dietary supplement. Antioxidant supplements include individual vitamin supplements such as Vitamins C or E or beta carotene and mineral supplements like selenium. Green tea extract, grape seed extract, pomegranate and resveratrol are other popular natural antioxidant supplements.
Increasing antioxidant rich foods like fruits and vegetables or including a high quality antioxidant supplement in your diet may help you experience the benefit of antioxidants. As free radicals are neutralized and cell damage limited, important anti aging benefits may occur. Long term reduction of free radicals may lessen the likelihood of age related disease like Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative diseases.
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