As your body is exposed to toxins, stress, and lack of exercise, some of the molecules become unstable and begin fishing around for other molecules to help them. We call these unstable molecules free radicals. As they wander in the body, they create more free radicals and damage your health in the process.
The bad news is, even the normal processes of your body, including doing good things for you like regular exercise, can cause free radicals to form. The good news is, your body also creates molecules that keep the free radicals from doing their dirty work. These good molecules are called antioxidants. And you can maintain a healthy balance of antioxidants to free radicals through healthy choices, like eating lots of fruits and vegetables and minimizing exposure to toxins, to provide your body with plentiful antioxidants to combat the free radicals that are a natural part of living.
Here are three sources of antioxidants to consider in your fight against free radicals:
Acaí for Women
Acaí, the antioxidant-rich South American palm tree fruit from the Amazon River basin, helped healthy women neutralize free radicals and prevent cellular damage. Free radicals contain reactive oxygen species, and high levels can damage cells.
In this study, 35 healthy women, aged 15 to 33, took 200 grams of acaí pulp per day. After four weeks, levels of damaging free-radical reactive oxygen species were 78 percent lower, and total cellular antioxidant capacity had increased by 104 percent.
Doctors said the increase in cellular antioxidant capacity means that the women were better able to overcome free-radical reactive oxygen species and prevent damage to cells in the body.
Reference: Nutrition; 2016, Vol. 32, No. 6, 674-80
Live Longer with Fruits & Veggies
Vitamin C from fruits and vegetables may lower chances for heart disease, but earlier studies were unclear. Doctors gathered information on 97,203 people, some of whom had a genetic tendency toward higher circulating levels of vitamin C, and lower chances for heart disease. Comparing these people with others who had high circulating levels of vitamin C from eating large amounts of fruits and vegetables, doctors found similar heart health benefits. Those who got the most fruits and vegetables were 15 percent less likely to develop heart disease and 20 percent less likely to die prematurely compared to those who got the least.
Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 2015, Vol. 101, No. 6, 1135-43
Dark Chocolate for Better Fitness
Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidant flavanols which may increase the bioavailability and bioactivity of nitric oxide, a compound that allows the body to use oxygen more efficiently. In this study, nine moderately trained men took a series of fitness tests before and after consuming 40 grams of dark or white chocolate per day, in two, two-week alternating phases. Heart and lung fitness and endurance capacity was 11 percent greater for dark chocolate compared to white, and 21 percent greater compared to the start of the study. Maximum oxygen capacity also rose by 6 percent for dark chocolate.
Reference: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition; December, 2015, Published Online
Betsy’s Note: This article is for educational purposes only and has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Consult your health care provider before beginning a supplement, especially if you have a medical condition or take medications. For example, acaí , dark chocolate, and many fruits and vegetables thin blood.
Article copyright 2016 by Natural Insights for Well Being. All rights reserved. Used with permission.