Everyone wants to grow old gracefully.
Some go under the knife to get that youthful look
while others opt for a more natural way to maintain that
healthful glow. The way to make peace with age can be found in the types
of foods that we eat and the miracle ingredient they contain.
This hidden “miracle” is called antioxidants. They have graced the
pages of magazines, medical journals and every product from hand cream to
supplement pills. But what are antioxidants and what can they do to
keep you looking your best?
Antioxidants are substances that fight the aging process that goes on in your
body. They are not produced by the body so to get the benefit of these
power-packed substances you must ingest them.
A variety of foods contain antioxidants.
The body continually replenishes its cells. Through a process called cellular metabolism, the body produces energy, more cells and repairs any damage.
One by-product of cellular metabolism is unstable molecules called free radicals.
Free radicals are molecules that damage your body. They are unstable
because they are missing an electron. To get another one and become
stable, free radicals will steal electrons from cells. That theft damages
the cells in a variety of ways.
The results are visible and invisible changes to our bodies. The
development of diseases like cancer, diabetes, arthritis and neurological
deficiencies may begin to affect you as you age. Also, thinner skin
wrinkles and brittle bones are a problem. Free radicals enter our body
from outside sources as well: cigarette smoke, radiation and the sun’s UV
rays. The more free radicals we encounter, the greater the
damage that can be done.
Antioxidants have been shown to be of great help in the free radical
problem. Antioxidant substances combine with free radicals and neutralize
them. Once they are neutralized, they can no longer do any damage.
Scientists don’t have any idea of a recommended daily dose of antioxidants to
correct free radical damage and the diseases that come with age, but they do
know that eating foods rich in antioxidants makes a huge
difference in how we live.
Where do you find antioxidants? They are all around us. Look no
further than your local farmer’s market or produce aisle in the grocery
store. Fruits and vegetables contain the
principle sources of antioxidants.
Examples of antioxidants include:
* Vitamin C
* Vitamin A
* Vitamin E
Certain minerals like zinc and selenium also function in the body. They
are not antioxidants but they boost the immune system to fight against free
Antioxidants are also found in and the foods just named will increase the amount of antioxidants in your system and help reduce the incidence of disease.
Food does more than stave off hunger. Natural substances found there
can cause us to live longer and stay free of disease as we age.