Antioxidants - Your Best Defense Against Disease and Aging
by Brad Bahr
Studies support the benefits of eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. This is due to
their high antioxidant value. Why are antioxidants so important? Because they have a
proven track record of fighting free radicals.

Your body is being constantly attacked by very harmful substances known as free
radicals or oxygen radicals. Free radicals can destroy your cells, tissues and organs.

Free radicals are highly unstable molecules that are naturally formed inside our bodies
by the process of oxidation. They are normal by products of everyday functions like
digestion and physical activity. Free radicals also come from outside sources, such as
smoking, environmental pollution, and synthetic chemicals that are added to our water
and food.

We are also all exposed daily to polluted air, ingest oxidized or partially rancid foods,
and oxidizing radiations from the sun and various electrical appliances.

Free radicals lack one electron making them chemically unstable. To stabilize
themselves, they attack any other substance within reach and steel an electron from it.
This process creates a new free radical, which repeats the process, producing a "domino
effect." When this reaction is uncontrolled, it can generate millions of free radicals
within seconds.

Fortunately our bodies come equipped with a free radical fighting mechanism. It consists
of specialized enzymes that have a "spare" electron that they can give away without
turning into free radicals. In order to protect us, the enzymes need help from certain
substances known as antioxidants.

The antioxidant value of any food or supplement can be determined by it's ORAC
rating. ORAC means Oxygen Radical Absorbence Capacity. According to the University
of Michigan, Comprehensive Cancer Center, the measurement of ORAC is a way to
measure how many oxygen radicals a specific food can absorb. The more oxygen
radicals a food can absorb, the higher its ORAC score. The higher its score... the more
that food or supplement will help you fight diseases like cancer and heart disease.

Most experts agree that we should consume 5,000 ORAC units per day to effectively
fight free radicals in the body. Sadly, most of us average around 1,200 units per day.
Not nearly enough to protect us from the common diseases of aging.

One of the best sources of antioxidants are berries and fruits. Most of us would have a
very hard time eating the large amounts necessary to reach 5,000 ORAC units per day.
For this reason, high ORAC supplements have been created. They contain berry and
fruit extracts with a known ORAC rating. These supplements are inexpensive and
provide many health benefits to your entire body and brain. Many people use these
supplements as part of an anti-aging program. Keeping your cells from being destroyed
goes a long way to staying healthy and young.

About the Author

Brad Bahr is the author of many health related articles and websites. He has been
testing and reviewing health supplements for many years. You can find more interesting
health related articles at his website:
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The
content on this website is not intended to diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease.
©2006 Every Nutrient

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