While oxygen is the key to human survival, it is also responsible for maximum damage to the human body as 'free radicals'. Free radicals form when oxygen is metabolized or burned by the body for its functions. Free radicals are also produced through environmental pollution and cigarette smoke
Tens of thousands of them are formed everyday in the body. These free radicals travel through the body causing immense damage to the cell structures and causes chronic disease, anti aging as well as other health problems including DNA mutations leading to cancer.
Thankfully the answer to such destruction at the cellular level is anti oxidants. The body produces anti oxidants as well as they available through fruits and vegetables. Anti oxidants scavenge free radicals; convert them to harmless substance before they can cause damage to the cells and tissues of the body.
Vitamin C beta carotenes and vitamin E are rich sources of anti oxidants. While a balance diet rich in these vitamins are an ideal source of natural anti oxidants they are also available as nutritional supplements and have gained much popularity in the past decade.
The efficacy of such anti oxidants remains questionable. Studies have suggested that anti oxidants occurring naturally as in fruits and vegetables have a far more protective effect than the dietary supplements.
However what has been proven beyond doubt by research is that anti oxidant intake does stave off degenerative diseases and especially cancer. It also improves the overall health and boosts immunity.
The best bet for improving your health dramatically is a complex range of natural anti oxidants. Here is a list of anti oxidants found in foods.
Vitamin C: All types of citrus fruits, kiwi, papaya, strawberries and leafy green vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower etc.
Vitamin E: Hard to find sufficient quantities of vitamin E from diet alone. A good source is almonds. Take supplements derived from natural sources.
Carotenoids: Beta carotenes are found in oranges, and vegetables like carrots, apricots, beets, sweet potatoes are a good source. Most of the red and green leef vegetables would have beta carotenes.
Flavanoids: Found in whole lot of vegetables and fruits. Onions, beets, citrus fruits and berries contain flavanoids. Green tea is a good source.
Take 4 to 6 servings of these fruits and vegetables daily for getting the complete range of anti oxidants and you can be sure of keeping many of the degenerative diseases, cancer, blood pressure and heart problems at bay. The icing on the cake is you can look younger and beat the ageing of your skin and tissues.
R.G. Srinivasan is a Certified Trainer, Writer and Author with more than two decades of managerial experience. He is passionate about alternate therapies and holistic herbal medicine. Check out his site at http://globalhealthnetwork.tripod.com