Juicing For Antioxidants:The Best Fruits and Veggies!
You’ve probably heard plenty of hype about antioxidants already. They’re promoted in all kinds of products, from skincare to foods and beverages. There are a lot of health-boosting claims linked to these naturally occurring compounds. But can they really make you look younger, feel better and prevent diseases like cancer?!
The Effects of Free Radicals
First of all, it’s important to understand the effects of free radicals. Free radicals occur naturally in the body and also enter via toxic environmental conditions. Free radicals are highly reactive and damage the body’s cells. Nobody is immune to the damage they can do.
According to the author of Contemporary Ayurveda,
Free radicals are molecules, usually of oxygen, that have lost an electron. That loss makes them unstable (in chemical terms, reactive). They begin to covet their neighboring molecules’ electrons. In stealing an electron, they operate as terrorists in the body. They can attack DNA, leading to dysfunction, mutation, and cancer. They can attack enzymes and proteins, disrupting normal cell activities, or cell membranes, producing a chain reaction of destruction. Such membrane damage in the cells that line our blood vessels can lead to hardening and thickening of the arteries and eventually to heart attacks and strokes. Free-radical attacks on collagen can cause cross-linking of protein molecules, resulting in stiffness in the tissue.
While healthy bodies are able to handle some of this free radical activity, the increased amount of toxins in our environment has led to a greater risk of too much exposure. This is evident when you look at health statistics – diseases linked to free radical activity are on the rise. Too much free radical activity can lead to a number of health complications – both serious and minor – including
- early aging
- body stiffness
- decreased immunity
- rheumatoid arthritis
- Chron’s disease
The huge range of different health issues all boils down to the cell damage free radicals cause.
What do Antioxidants Do?
Antioxidants are compounds that counteract the activity of chemicals known as free radicals.
Antioxidants are produced naturally by the body, but can also be found in many foods and supplements.
Rightly known as “free radical scavengers,” antioxidants neutralize the effects of free radicals, lessening cell damage.
Antioxidants inhibit the activity of free radicals, decreasing the amount of cell damage and lowering the risk of related health issues.
Sources of Antioxidants
While our bodies produce antioxidants naturally, we can aid this process with foods that contain antioxidants as well as those that help us make more! Fruits and veggies are the big players here. Include these antioxidant rich options in your next juice for a boost of antioxidants!
As you might notice, berries and fruits with deep colors like blue and purple show up here a lot. This is a good rule of thumb to follow!
image source: http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/596436
About the Author
Kylie Worthington is a natural health advocate and mama. She blogs at Everblossom.net and is passionate about living well, writing, and supporting eco-friendly (people-friendly) businesses.