What are antioxidants and free radicals?

Free Radicals Formation

Antioxidants are organic compounds found in food especially in vegetables with bright colors and grains. Common antioxidants in food include: vitamin A, C and E; beta-carotene, lycopene and the trace mineral selenium. They act by cleansing the body of free radicals, which can cause cell and DNA damage resulting in aging and many chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Antioxidants work on neutralizing free radicals by donating an electron. However, all antioxidants transform into free radicals in the process with one exception: glutathione, which is created by the liver. That’s why it’s called the master antioxidant; it works by reversing the transformation of these antioxidants into free radicals.

Providing the body with a higher ratio of antioxidants to free radicals and providing your livers with precursors to glutathione, such as cysteine or NAC, are the solutions to this dilemma. Whole glutathione cannot get to the gut intact that’s why antioxidants and glutathione precursors for the liver must be supplied through the diet and supplementation.
For the first time, scientists have discovered a genetic pathway suggesting that antioxidants may help in the treatment of cancer, according to a study conducted by researchers from Thomas Jefferson University and published in the journal Cancer Biology & Therapy.

Scientists have known for a long time that diets high in antioxidant-containing foods are associated with a lower risk of cancer. This effect is widely attributed to the fact that antioxidants remove DNA-damaging free radicals from the body.

A critical review of the role of dietary antioxidants suggests that Vitamin A and E, along with coenzyme Q10, flavonoids, and resveratrol, show promise in extending human life.

What’s the cheapest common source of antioxidants?

Superfoods are known to be very low in calories, potent in nutrients, antioxidants, amino acids, minerals and vitamins. Unless you discovered the fountain of youth, super foods supplements are your body’s best bet if you want to stay healthy and look younger.

These antioxidant-rich foods reduce the risk for fatal diseases like cancer, according to the American Cancer Society, while allowing us to meet our daily nutritional requirements.

In order for your body to absorb and process them, these antioxidants must come from an organic natural source like superfoods. The best way to eat them is in form of supplements but remember not all supplements are created equal. Superfood supplements have to be pure and free from fillers and preservatives and most importantly it has to be freeze dried if in powder form (to conserve its potency) or cold pressed if it’s an oil.

Written by: Teddy Nseir

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