Antioxidant Multi Vitamins
What Are Antioxidants?
A vitamin rich diet is essential for maintaining overall health and antioxidant multi vitamins include elements that can provide many benefits. Antioxidants protect against cell damage that is caused by free radicals, molecules that are unstable. These free radicals can be stabilized by the presence of antioxidants.
Free radicals, molecules that have incomplete electron shells, are more chemically reactive than other molecules. These free radicals can interact with harmful environmental factors and cause irreversible damage that may lead to disease. Antioxidants can neutralize the process of formation of free radicals and in the process, provide other benefits such as improving skin quality and slowing the ageing process.
Common Sources of Antioxidants
Antioxidants naturally occur in many foods. Fruits and vegetables, in particular, have abundant antioxidant content. Other foods that have high antioxidant content are nuts, some grains, some meat, chicken, red wines, cocoa, and green tea.
Antioxidants are found in beta-carotene, the substance found in most orange-colored vegetables and fruits, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squashes, apricots, mangos, and others. Beta-carotene is also found in many leafy green vegetables, such as kale, collard greens, and spinach. These foods also contain lutein, another antioxidant, which helps promote healthy eyes.
Another antioxidant that has powerful properties is lycopene. It is found in tomatoes, watermelon, guavas, pink grapefruit, apricots, blood oranges, and other foods. It's estimated that Americans derive 85% of their lycopene consumption from tomatoes.
Three vitamins, A, C, and E, also have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A contains a rich antioxidant content in foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, liver, egg yolks, milk, and mozzarella cheese. Vitamin C is high in antioxidants, when found in fruits and vegetables, cereals, beef, fish, and poultry. Vitamin E is naturally found in oils such as soybean, corn, safflower, nuts, broccoli, wheat germ, and other foods. Antioxidants are also found in the mineral selenium. Although multi-vitamins may contain all of these antioxidant rich elements, antioxidant multivitamins add an extra dose to your daily intake.
Antioxidants and Disease Prevention
Many clinical studies have shown that an antioxidant rich diet can possibly prevent or slow the development of cancers in the body. However, scientific research has yet to prove that this is true. In fact, the positive, negative, or neutral results of antioxidant rich diets have all been demonstrated by different major studies. The effects seem to vary for different populations. The Chinese Cancer Prevention Survey, published in 1993, concentrated on high concentrations of beta-carotene, selenium, and Vitamin E in a study of healthy Chinese people who were at risk for gastric cancer. In this study, the results showed that the antioxidants had a very positive effect on keeping the occurrences of cancer down.
On the other hand, a study in Finland in 1994 gave male smokers high dosages of beta-carotene and Vitamin E. The surprising result of this study was that high concentrations of beta-carotene raised the incidences of cancer. Vitamin E seemed to have no effect. In another 1994 study showed that beta-carotene may have increased the incidences of lung cancer. Studies in 1996 and 1999 showed no result from taking beta-carotene. So the messages are mixed. It is unlikely, in any case, that eating a diet rich in the beta-carotene in orange vegetables would have the same result as taking beta-carotene in pill form, for any population.
Antioxidants and Beauty
Antioxidants offer and amazing array of benefits to a person's appearance. Free radicals can be the cause of disease, but they also damage skin cells, and are a principle cause of accelerate ageing. The particular antioxidants in blueberries are especially useful in reducing spider veins, because they increase the strength of tiny blood vessels. The antioxidant red lycopene, found in tomatoes, is particularly effective against prostate cancer, and they are best when cooked in oils such as olive oil. This is also true for carrots. Lycopene, beta-carotene and lutein are all helpful in retaining the elasticity of skin, as they protect against UV radiation we get from direct exposure to the sun. Some foods contain a high content of flavinoids, which are all useful in maintaining a healthy appearance, and these supernutrients are plentiful in black and green tea, red wines, especially Chilean reds, Burgundy, and Bordeaux, apples, citrus fruits, nuts, cereals, vegetables, and cocoa, particularly in chocolate with a 70% cocoa content. Now we know why the body craves it.
Antioxidant Multi Vitamin Recomendations
Although the antioxidants found in foods are decidedly useful in the maintenance of a youthful appearance, and some researchers believe that they can have positive effects on disease prevention, taking these dietary elements in vitamin form may not be as useful. Under no circumstances does the taking of antioxidant vitamins have the same positive effect on the body as a diet rich in the foods that contain them. In some cases, they can be dangerous. For example, it's been found that beta-carotene supplements may increase the risk of cancer for smokers, rather than diminishing it, while eating foods rich in antioxidants will have no damaging effect.
If you're one of those people who hates vegetables, and lives on a diet of burgers, antioxidant multi vitamins will provide benefit, to some extent. The body naturally produces some antioxidants, so living on burgers doesn't mean you are entirely antioxidant-deprived. Drinking a cup of green tea a day will help to promote the process that is natural to the body. Taking antioxidant multi vitamins will increase the amount of nutrients you need for maximum health, but a healthy diet is better.
A healthy diet is colorful. Try selecting a wide range of fruits and vegetables in the full range of colors every day: red, green, yellow, orange, purple, brown, and white (blueberries are actually purple). If that's too much to do, take antioxidant multi-vitamins instead. However, it's important to vary fruits and vegetables in your diet. Read on to discover the additional benefits Glyconutrients can have on your life.