Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Eat Foods High in Antioxidants

Have you ever thought of living without breathing? The answer must be a big "No" since it is not possible living without breathing. To be more precise, we can not live without breathing oxygen. In fact, all the essence of life is within oxygen. However, this oxygen may act as the worst enemy to our health system. Excessive oxidation is not only harmful to our system, but also destructive in terms of cellular damage and impaired functioning of cells. We need antioxidants.

Significance of Antioxidants

In order to fight off against free radicals and various degenerative diseases, we need to eat foods high in antioxidants, since our Mother Nature is the great source of antioxidants. There are plenty of natural foods high in antioxidants property. Antioxidants are also known as phytonutrients. Various researches have been conducted to establish the potential benefits received from antioxidants in protecting cellular damage caused by oxidative free radicals.

Antioxidant Power in Foods

Human Nutrition Research Centre under Tufts University conducted research to determine the total possible power of antioxidants in different foods. It has been founds that the vibrant colored carotenoid rich natural vegetables and fruits are those foods high in antioxidants. Studies show a strong inverse relation between carotenoid and other degenerative diseases including cancer, cardiovascular complication, cataract, macular degeneration, and immune system disorders.

Oranges, prunes, kiwi, raisin, pink grapefruit, berry, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprout, carrot, tomato, broccoli, red pepper, and kale are known foods high in antioxidants. These are the foods high in antioxidants as identified by Human Nutrition Research Centre. However, the most famous foods high in antioxidants are apples, potatoes, bananas and iceberg lettuce, but these foods are not ranked higher in the beneficial list since they have little antioxidant value.

Hyped Commercialized Foods

Although the aggressive marketers commercialize their foods claiming as high in antioxidants contents, many of these claims are actually hype. In general, the ingredients included in these types of claims involve the names of micro sea algae, milk thistle, pine bark, grape seed extract, gingo biloba, and synthetic a-lipoic acid. However, none of these foods are ranked in the list declared in the report by Human Nutrition Research Centre.

It is always better to look for natural sources of vitamin C instead of artificial medications since the long term effects of these medications have not yet been analyzed thoroughly. Since the foods high in antioxidants such as tomatoes, red bell peppers, spinach, peaches, carrots, apricots and strawberries are naturally available, so think twice before you buy any product with these foods as ingredients. When these foods are so abundant in nature, why don’t you consider them eating fresh?

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