Antioxidants: Understanding the Health Benefits

Have you noticed that the term antioxidant is found splashed across the labels of everything from food to skin care products.  What is all the hype about antioxidants?  Why are the important to our health? Antioxidants are substances that protect and reduce damage to cells. Antioxidants protect our cells from free radicals, which are unstable substances that pull molecules from healthy cells creating damage to them.  Antioxidants intercept the free radicals and stabilize them so they cannot damage healthy cells.  So antioxidants are very important to preserving our health and preventing long-term disease.

One of the best ways to incorporate antioxidants into our life is to eat them!  Antioxidants are found in colorful foods – yellows, oranges, greens, blues, purples, and reds are all colors of foods that contain antioxidants.  Peaches, acorn squash, spinach, lettuce, sweet potatoes, strawberries, black beans, walnuts, or salmon all contain antioxidants.  There are so many types of food that contain them fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, meats, poultry, and fish.  So there are many food choices that people can choose from to create a food lifestyle containing antioxidants.  The more you eat the more you reduce your risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or others.  If you are currently dealing with a chronic disease antioxidants can prevent it from getting worse and often it will improve your symptoms and your health.

If you are like me you might want to have specific examples of antioxidants to begin to incorporate into your diet.  There are several antioxidants that have been studied for their important health benefits they are beta-carotene (which is a per-cursor to vitamin A), vitamin A, lutein, lycopene, selenuim, vitamin C, and vitamin E.  If we put antioxidants in products like lotions they protect cells of our skin.  If we eat foods and substances that contain antioxidants we protect our cells internally and they help prevent or reduce the risk of chronic illnesses.

Antioxidants are important to our health and, lucky for us, they are found in abundance in whole foods! Eat up!

Live Vibrantly,

Dr. Daemon Jones

[box] Dr. Daemon Jones maintains a private practice and see patients as a naturopathic physician. If you are interested in becoming a patient, know that Dr Dae also offers services via Skype and through phone consultations. Her office phone is 202-681-0705 or email her with questions drdae@[/box]