How Can An Antioxidant
Benefit Health?

Can An Antioxidant Benefit Health?

There are few people today who give any thought to health at all that can't answer that question. Nor are there many health care professionals who would deny the abundance of evidence supporting the benefits of food high in antioxidants.

From healthy pregnancies, to cancer, to heart disease, antioxidants play an important role.

Antioxidants have such broad implications in relation to our health that it is important to mention many benefits beyond heart health alone.

This site is dedicated to the health of the heart and not to health in general. However, I will make mention of some applications of antioxidant intake including foods high in antioxidants as well as supplements beyond the promotion of a healthy heart. I cannot help myself. I hope you will forgive the occasional transgression.

What Are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are substances consumed in foods and dietary supplements which help to reduce and even prevent the formation of destructive chemicals in the body called free radicals. Free radicals attack the systems of the body even to the DNA level leaving us less able to fight off the effects of disease and aging.

Antioxidants protect the body by ending the free radical chain reaction before vital molecules are harmed.

Can an antioxidant benefit health in relation to free radicals? 

Many studies indicate that the most effective antioxidants in the fight against free radicals are…

  • Vitamins E
  • Vitamin C
  • Beta-carotene
  • Selenium
  • CoQ10

And a few others. You can take certain antioxidants to target and counteract the effects of particular conditions and diseases. For instance, someone might increase their vitamin C intact to help fight off cancer. However…

Ingesting a complex of antioxidants seems to work best.

One reason for this is that no one antioxidant can cover all the bases. One disease might respond to a particular antioxidant but be unresponsive to another. Additionally studies have shown that antioxidants and other compounds seem to work better together than they often do alone.

Here’s a question for you…

Are you sick and tired of just not feeling great?

Are there health issues – in addition to your heart health – that concern you? Like…

Anxiety? Or not sleeping well? Or joint pain? Or low energy? Or poor digestion? Or weight gain? Or stress? Why do so many people suffer from these symptoms and others? Those nagging health issues that seem so difficult to define.

Did you know that these health problems – as well as more serious chronic diseases – can be the result of …

  • Your body holding on to too many toxins?
  • And chronic inflammation?
  • And pH and blood sugar imbalance?
  • And your elimination organs not working well?
  • And poor nutrition?
  •  And foods that stress your system?

Many people have come to realize this and have made changes to recapture their health. We have a great – FREE – resource we want you to have. Simply click the link below.

Click here to learn how you can regain your health. 

A Few Particulars

Now to some particulars about which antioxidants fight which conditions. The source of these vitamins can be a variety of foods high in different antioxidants and quality supplements. A combination of the two is a good strategy. 

Vitamin C has been shown to aid in reducing the risk of various types of cancer, improving the immune system and reducing the risk of heart disease. Vitamin C can also work to regenerate the antioxidant power of vitamin E after it has already functioned as an antioxidant in the body. 

Vitamin E, unlike vitamin C, is fat soluble. It is the main antioxidant found in the lipid containing tissues of the body such as cell membranes. 

Vitamin E has been shown to have far reaching antioxidant powers counteracting the effects of nervous system disorders and heart disease. It has even shown promise for protecting against the progression of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). 
Most particular to the subject of the current site, vitamin E promotes

heart health by protecting against atherosclerosis.

B vitamins are well attested to reduce heart disease especially by the reduction of homocysteine levels in the blood. Homocysteine has been dubbed by some as the new cholesterol and has been implicated in many thousands of death related cardiovascular events.

Perhaps the most essential of the B vitamins is folic acid which has far reaching health benefits beyond those related to the heart.

How can a B vitamin antioxidant benefit health?

Selenium is an essential trace mineral. Essential minerals are considered essential for two reasons. The first reason is they are necessary for good health even if in small amounts.

The second reason is they cannot be produced by the body and therefore must be consumed. Selenium is an antioxidant which may reduce the risk of heart disease and several types of cancer. Selenium is also important as a support for vitamin E in the fight against free radicals.

This is why dietary supplements of vitamin E will often contain selenium.

Further, selenium is required for the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase to function properly in the body's immune system. 

CoEnzyme Q10, or CoQ10, belongs to a class of compounds known as quinones. These compounds are virtually ubiquitous (everywhere) throughout living cells. The family to which they belong is known as the ubiquinone family, (a combination of the words "quinones" and "ubiquitous.") 

This fat-soluble antioxidant is an essential part of energy production in the body's cells. Though the body produces CoQ10, production decreases with age. A high percentage of people with heart disease have been diagnosed as CoQ10 deficient.

This indicates a strong relationship between low levels of CoQ10 and heart disease.

Research indicates that supplementation with CoQ10 may be beneficial for heart health problems including recovery after congestive heart failureor heart attack. Because of the importance of CoQ10 and heart disease another section of this site has been reserved for further discussion on it. 

Read more on CoQ10 and Heart Disease.

Carotenoids are actually the pigments that provide the bright colors in many fruits and vegetables. To date science knows of more than five hundred different carotenoids. Some of the more important ones to a healthy diet are…

  • Beta-carotene
  • Alpha-carotene
  • Lutein
  • Lycopene
  • Beta-cryptoxanthin
  • Zeaxanthin

Many carotenoids are essential to optimal health including heart health. A complete discussion of the importance of carotenoids is beyond our current scope. However the link below leads to a discussion of a few of the more important ones. 

How carotinoids benefit health.

Where Do We Get Antioxidants?

The best place to get antioxidants, as with any vitamin or mineral, is from the foods we eat. Fruits and vegetables are by far the most abundant sources of antioxidants. A good rule of thumb to follow is the more colorful a fruit or vegetable is the more antioxidants it contains. Look for deep oranges, reds, yellows, greens and purples. 

If the colors are bright and attractive to the eye the chances are they are full of antioxidants. 

Having said all this about fruits and vegetables there are a couple of limiting factors that we should consider. First, the colors of most American meals are much closer to the browns and tans of hamburgers and French fries than the yellows, oranges, reds and purples of a diet high in antioxidants. 

It is true that the occasional piece of lettuce or slice of tomato does get between the bun and the meat. But this is a far cry from the kind of diet that we need to be eating.

In fact one survey discovered that nearly one third of all vegetables consumed by Americans are white potatoes. As if this were not bad enough, one third of these potatoes are consumed in the form of French fries. 

Consider this, in the first place we have diets that are depleted of the vitamins and minerals we need to fight off heart disease and to maintain a general healthy lifestyle. Further…

We are consuming those very foods which are the highest in the heart damaging elements that the antioxidants we are not getting would help to fight.

Put more simply, we are consuming heart damaging cholesterol, sodium and other compounds while not getting the vitamins and minerals that could help strengthen our hearts against disease. 

So you are one of those people who try to watch your diet and make a conscious effort to eat healthy foods full of vitamins and minerals and low in those bad things we mentioned. Great! You are ahead of the game. Keep it up. But think of this. Did you get those vegetables from your organic garden? Did you pick those fruits from the trees next door?

Neither did I.

How long do you suppose that apple was off the tree before you ate it? When the fruit was first picked it contained 100% of the vitamins and minerals that are supposed to be in an apple. As time passed those vitamins and minerals began to diminish. The problem is even with our great transport and refrigeration systems our foods do not contain all the wealth of good stuff that they did when our forefathers the farmers ate what they picked that morning. 

Because of all this dietary supplements can be a good aid in the battle for a healthy body, especially our hearts. Not all vitamins are the same, however. Since the best place to ingest our vitamins is through food it is essential to supplement with a product that comes from whole foods. The vitamins assimilate better when they are from natural sources. If they don't assimilate they do us no good. Also natural whole food sources provide the important phytonutrients that are not in chemical based vitamin replacements.

A Challenge For You!

People are making great improvements in their heart health.

How... are they doing it? By challenging themselves to change the way they eat. Really!

I have a challenge for you. It is my double dog dare.

Click here to learn about the 30_Day Challenge.

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