Once you really learn what are antioxidants, you will pay much more attention to your diet and what you eat, wanting to include them as much as possible!
You cannot have too many antioxidants!
Antioxidants are truly nature's little miracles!
They truly do fight aging and disease like nothing else.
On top of keeping you healthy, they help maintain your body young and your skin wrinkle-free. Plus, they actually extend your life!
As I researched antioxidants, I wondered, "Can I really protect my body from disease and premature aging, live longer, look better and stay healthy just by eating foods high in antioxidants and supplementing with antioxidant supplements?"
I happily learned that the answer is: Yes! Yes! Yes! and Yes!
There are almost endless benefits of antioxidants!
Antioxidants are natural biochemical substances that guard and protect our body and our trillions of cells from the many badly damaging effects of free radicals.
Free radicals are molecules that have at least one unpaired electron and then go around just taking electrons from other healthy molecules causing damage (oxidative stress).
Antioxidants have extra electrons to "share" so they give one or more of their extra electrons to the free radicals.
By donating an electron to a free radical, antioxidants neutralize that free radical and stop all the oxidative stress (damage) in our cells.
As I learned more about what are antioxidants, I learned that Antioxidants exist as different nutrients, such as:
Vitamins, such as vitamin A(beta-carotene), C, E, K.
Minerals, such as Zinc and Selenium, Amino Acids, such as Glutathione (GSH), Methionine, N-Acetyl Cysteine
Enzymes, such as Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), Glutathione Peroxidase (GPx), Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+)
And even as whole foods, such as Turmeric and Garlic.
So, by eating a diet rich in nutrients we will be providing our body with a variety of antioxidants.
These antioxidants that will protect our cells and, thus, our whole body.
The illustration below shows what are antioxidants and how they protect our cells by neutralizing free radicals.
There are two main types of antioxidants:
exogenous antioxidants and endogenous antioxidants
Exogenous antioxidants are antioxidants we get from our diet by eating antioxidant-rich foods and by taking supplements. Some well known examples of exogenous antioxidants are vitamins A, C and E.
Even though exogenous antioxidants can be obtained from food sources, in our modern day world it is nearly impossible to get enough exogenous antioxidants from our diet to neutralize all of the free radicals generated. This is why antioxidant supplementation is so vital!
Endogenous antioxidants are made by our bodies. Because they are produced by our own bodies and not obtained from food sources, endogenous antioxidants are far more potent than exogenous antioxidants.
Endogenous antioxidants repair ALL of the the free radical damage by initiating cell regeneration from the inside on out, whereas, exogenous antioxidants only repair some of the free radical damage from the outside on in by stimulating (not initiating) cell regeneration.
See an illustration below of a regenerating skin cell:
There are five extremely powerful endogenous antioxidants. They are: Glutathione(GSH), Alpha Lipoic Acid(ALA), Superoxide Dismutase(SOD), Catalase and Coenzyme Q10(CoQ10).
Unfortunately, the body’s production of endogenous antioxidants declines as we age. For example, our glutathione levels decline about 10-15% per decade as we grow older.
This decrease in endogenous antioxidants is found to be a strong factor in contributing to premature aging and degenerative diseases.
There is more than enough studies to verify that by increasing our endogenous antioxidant cellular levels, such as our glutathione levels, we can greatly help prevent many age-related health issues and degenerative diseases like Diabetes, Alzheimer's, Cancer, Heart Disease, and many other health concerns.
Glutathione is considered the Master Antioxidant because unlike all of the other antioxidants it does not need any other antioxidant to do its job.
Glutathione is about 5,000 times stronger than any other antioxidant.
By learning exactly what are antioxidants, we learned that they neutralize free radicals by sharing or donating from their supply of extra electrons.
Glutathione is the # 1 antioxidant as it has the most "extra" electrons to share!
Vitamin E has 3 extra electrons to share
Vitamin C has 5 extra electrons to share
Oligomeric Proanthocyanidin(OPC) has 250 extra electrons to share
Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) has 10,000 extra electrons to share
Glutathione (GSH) has 1 MILLION (Wow!) extra electrons to share
Glutathione, truly is the Best Antioxidant!
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