Support Well-Being with Antioxidants
From viruses to harmful bacteria, the human body faces a variety of threats to health on a regular basis. One constant threat comes from free radicals, which the body generates as byproducts of turning food into energy and other biological processes. Free radicals are also produced by the foods we eat and the air we breathe, and they're even generated by sunlight's action on the skin and eyes. Free radicals are capable of damaging cells and genetic material, contributing to vision loss, Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis, and other chronic conditions.
The body produces molecules that counteract free radicals, and we also get free-radical fighters -- known as antioxidants -- from foods and supplements. The most familiar antioxidants are vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, manganese, zinc, glutathione, and carotenoids. Experts recommend consuming a wide variety of antioxidants to maintain well-being.
Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, plums, oranges, red grapes, cherries, tomatoes, lemons, limes, and pink grapefruit are among the fruits highest in antioxidants. As for veggies, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, and garlic are potent choices. And don't forget herbs and spices -- turmeric, rosemary, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon are rich in antioxidants. Pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts are also excellent antioxidant foods.
While a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables would be enough to combat most of the free-radical damage occurring in your body, most Americans fall short of meeting the recommended daily intakes for many nutrients, including the antioxidant vitamins C and E. Consider a high-quality supplement to ensure you're getting a broad spectrum of antioxidants in adequate amounts to promote health and help reduce your risk for disease.
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