Lately, they’ve been getting a lot of press. If you’re only even a little bit concerned with your own personal health, you’ve probably heard of them. You know they’re good for you. You might even know some of their supposed benefits. And you know you should eating them. But what are they? And why are they so important?
What are they?
Antioxidants are molecular compounds that occur naturally in a variety of foods. They neutralize “free radicals” or “oxidents” (unwanted chemical compounds that often inhabit our bloodstream, inhibiting the growth of cells. They repaid damage to cells that occurs virtually every second you’re alive.
You probably ingested some today! If you ate carrots, an orange, or an avocado, you definitely did, as vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E are all common antioxidants.
How do they work?
As the cells in our bodies go about serving their specialized functions, they dump into the bloodstream a lot of natural byproducts. “Free radicals” are one of these. They’re a “waste” chemical compound. They’re chemically unstable, which means that they’ll attract and bind to other atoms and molecules in order to stabilize themselves. In doing this, they often steal away components essential in cell division (fat, DNA, RNA, protein) from various cells in your body, causing them to heal themselves very slowly, or not all.
Antioxidants are chemical structures that are nonessential to the duplication of your cells, but free radicals are drawn to. Free radicals attach themselves to them, thereby neutralizing them, without taking anything valuable away from your cells.
Antioxidants affect how I age?
Aging occurs, basically, as a result of your cells not replicating/repairing themselves as quickly as they once did. Old, damaged tissues stick around on the body for longer. Looking old is the result of having old cells.
Antioxidants are thought to prevent or slow the effects of aging. This logic being that, if they encourage cells to regenerate more quickly, there’ll be fewer “old” cells in your body, and you’ll feel and appear less old. There’s actually a significant amount of scientific evidence to back up these kinds of thinking.
Where can I get them?
Antioxidants exist in moderate quantities in all sorts of fruits and vegetables. You can get them in concentrated doses in artificial supplements, but research suggests that these are not as effective as those found naturally in food.
If you’re looking for a natural source of high doses of antioxidants, consider Protandim by LifeVantage. But however you get them, it’s important you mind your antioxidants, and try to consume as many of them as you can.