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MAIN Arrow to Home LifeHealth Arrow to Vitamins and Minerals Vitamins & Minerals Arrow to AntioxidantsAntioxidants

antioxidantsWhy all the buzz about the benefits of antioxidants?

To understand why they are so beneficial, it is first important to know how they protect against free radicals, or renegade oxygen cells that disrupt the body's natural processes.

Free radicals result in the gradual breakdown of the immune system, and may eventually grow to become a main culprit in the development of serious diseases like cancer, heart disease and even wrinkling of the skin and the acceleration of aging.

This process by which oxygen cells run wild is known as oxidation. Antioxidants, then, are major police force within the body that keep oxygen cells from mutating into dangerous enemies, and may even repair damage that has already been done.

The easiest way to protect yourself? Eat your way out of the dilemma — by enlisting a strong protective force of antioxidants commonly found in fresh fruit and vegetables.

cup of coffee, high in antioxidants
Coffee is even higher in
antioxidants than most
fruits and vegetables.

These include artichokes, asparagus, avocados, basil, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, Brazil nuts, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, collard greens, fish, garlic, ginger, kale, onions, pumpkins, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomato, watermelon, and red grapes.

More good news? Coffee is a great source of antioxidants. In fact, coffee contains more than most fruits and vegetables. One antioxidant study found that coffee drinkers who drank 4 cups of coffee a day were less likely to develop cancer than those who drank only less than one cup a day.

Vitamin and mineral supplements can also double as antioxidants. Those with the strongest antioxidant properties include Vitamin A, beta carotene, Vitamin B2, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium.

Seems Mom was right all along. Eat your fruit and vegetables, take your vitamins every day, and plan on living stronger and longer with the power of antioxidants.

More information about antioxidants around the Web:

Web MD - All about antioxidants - Here's a good overview with information about what antioxidants actually do to strengthen cells against free radical damage.

Best Food Sources for Antioxidants - Check out an alternative medicine guide with a Top 20 list including related resources and recipes.


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