Monday, April 2, 2012

What are antioxidants??

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Antioxidants are nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and enzymes in our body that protect our cells from damage.

Antioxidants protect our cells from damage caused due to free radicals present in our body. Free radicals are a cause of pollution, natural metabolic activities in our body, smoking, pesticides, overexposure to UV rays of the sun and also due to other forms of radiation.

Free radicals are very unstable and can cause damage to our cells. These radicals tend to interact with human cells and change the very chemical structure. This causes a series of chain reactions which destroys the cell itself.

Antioxidants fights against the effects of the free radicals and protects the body cells from being damaged. It is very important to eat foods rich in antioxidants day after day to protect our body cell structure.

Examples of antioxidants - vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, lycopene etc.,

Antioxidants help the skin to stay young and wrinkle free. It protects the skin cells from damage and promotes the growth of skin cells. The most important aspect of antioxidants is that they protect the internal structure of a cell.

Vitamin E - ground nuts, peanuts, walnuts, green leafy vegetables, olives, avocado.

Vitamin C - citrus fruits, cantaloupe, broccoli, strawberries, peppers, tomato.

Beta - carotene - mangoes, papaya, pumpkin, peppers, spinach, sweet potatoes, apricots.

Selenium - Brown rice, whole wheat bread, Brazilian nuts.