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Antioxidant Vitamins

Toxins, chemical compounds and substances known as free radicals attack the body ever day. Free radicals may be formed due to the effect of oxygen on certain molecules. These radicals can lead to a chain reaction and result in bodily damage when they interact with certain cellular components. Cell functioning is hampered and some cells may also die due to the adverse effects of free radicals. Antioxidants help to protect the body from the damage caused by free radicals.
These antioxidants are derived from the nutrients present in foods. They work by preventing or slowing down the damage to the body. They also repair the damage caused by the free radicals. Oxidative damage can contribute to health conditions such as macular degeneration, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants help to improve the immune system of the body, thereby reducing the risk of infection and cancers. The human body produces several antioxidant enzymes which help to destroy free radicals. These enzymes are also available in supplement form. In addition, there are many vitamins and minerals that work as natural antioxidants. These antioxidant vitamins help to cleanse the system of destructive substances and enable an individual to live a healthier life.

The best way to protect the body from the damage of free radicals is to consume a variety of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and herbs. The antioxidant vitamins include vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, vitamin B2, lutein and lycopene. Herbal antioxidants include aloe vera, bilberry, turmeric, gingko and milk thistle. Vitamin C antioxidant is one of the most popular and powerful among the antioxidant vitamins. It helps to fight off free radicals, prevents premature ageing from taking place and also protects from illnesses such cataracts and heart disease. Vitamin C also prevents inflammation and is therefore beneficial in preventing diseases such as fibromyalgia and arthritis. There are also some conditions that are known to improve with the intake of vitamin C. These include canker sores, bruises, bronchitis, constipation, rashes and yeast infections. Iron deficiency anemia also improves with vitamin C since it aids in the absorption of iron. Vitamin E is another effective antioxidant that helps to neutralize the free radicals. Vitamin E antioxidant properties include prevention of osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s and prostate enlargement. It may also help in protecting from some types of cancer. The antioxidant vitamin D is known for its contribution to healthy bones and teeth. It helps in the absorption of phosphorous and calcium from the small intestine. Vitamin D even has a beneficial effect on the nervous system. 

The antioxidant vitamins list features vitamins A, C and E. There are also some types of vitamin B that feature on the antioxidant vitamins list. One must consume antioxidant vitamins for skin health as well as antioxidant vitamins for cancer prevention. While it is not always possible to prevent cancer, one can slow the progress of the condition so that treatment is more effective and has a better chance of being effective. There are many different natural sources for foods that are filled with antioxidant vitamins and minerals. Natural sources for antioxidants have been proven to be far more effective than supplements that may be prescribed from time to time. In fact, these supplements may cause health problems for the individual, thus rendering them useless.

A diet that is full of natural foods is one that is likely to contain a good amount of antioxidants as well. Fresh fruits and vegetables tend to be rich in vitamins and minerals in any case. The consumption of a diet that focuses on these food groups is likely to result in improved health. Tea is another great source of antioxidants. There are several different types of teas that are consumed globally. One of the most important benefits of tea is the presence of antioxidants. The same applies to red wine as it contains plenty of antioxidants. This is one of the reasons why longevity is found in cultures where tea and wine are commonplace. That being said, it is important to ensure that there is a general balance when it comes to the diet. Each type of food has a different nutritional makeup which makes it important to ensure that a variety of foods are used to make up the diet of the individual. It should also be noted that antioxidant vitamins are not restricted to fruits and vegetables. These antioxidant vitamins can be found in some meats as well. When it comes to antioxidant vitamins for smokers, the reality is not very encouraging. Smoking promotes oxidation and is one of the causes of lung cancer. Antioxidant vitamins for smokers will, at best, slow the progress of the condition without actually preventing it. Oxidation is a natural process that takes place in the universe. This applies to the processes that occur within the human body as well. Free radicals are those molecules present in the body that are released during various different functions of the body. These free radicals promote the rate at which oxidation takes place. While this does not pose any immediate health threat to the individual, it is possible that, over time, the patient may suffer from long term illnesses, some of which can be extremely dangerous and life threatening. The most common condition associated with free radicals is cancer. Cancer is a condition where abnormal cells begin to develop in any region of the body. The location where cancer develops determines the name and type of cancer that occurs. Cancer is progressive which means that it will cause more and more damage as it develops. Studies have shown that antioxidants can slow the progress of cancer. What is even more interesting is that antioxidants can help to reduce the chances of an individual suffering from cancer in the first place.

Beta carotene, an antioxidant known for its role in anti-ageing, helps to enhance the overall health of an individual and protects from illness. The beta carotene consumed from foods is converted into vitamin A, which is necessary for the health of the skin, eyes and immune system. These antioxidants can be obtained from many fruits and vegetables, grains, meats, poultry and fish. Antioxidant fruits and vegetables include raisins, oranges, apples, spinach, apricot, peaches, broccoli, plums, onions and grapes. Research has shown that one of the health benefits of peaches is that they have excellent antimicrobial activity as well as antioxidant activity. The Antioxidant fruits and vegetables may be consumed in cooked form or in the form of juices. However they are most beneficial when eaten in their natural state. Other important fruits and vegetables that supply antioxidant vitamins to the body are cabbage and cauliflower which are also rich in fiber, tomatoes which are a valuable source of lycopene and carrots which contain beta carotene. Another nutrient worth mentioning here is selenium which is actually a mineral. It constitutes an essential component in many beneficial enzymes. Selenium is obtained through foods such as wheat and rice. In case the diet does not incorporate these important nutrients, it is advisable to consult a doctor regarding the intake of antioxidant vitamin supplements.

Submitted on January 16, 2014