The Importance of Antioxidant Food

Medical studies have shown that antioxidant food not only lowers the risk of heart disease and neurological disease but even protects against certain cancers. In an increasingly health conscious world, the importance of eating foods rich in antioxidants cannot be stressed highly enough. Luckily most people already consume antioxidant foods in the form of vegetables like cauliflower, tomatoes, broccoli and peppers.
Many fruits and vegetables rich in phytonutrients make great antioxidant foods. Phytonutrients are naturally occurring chemicals that give many fruits and vegetables their color, flavor and aroma. Phytonutrients are typically found on the skins of these fruits and vegetables and contain many vital antioxidant properties that inhibit cancer cell replication, stops cell damage and even reduces the body’s blood-cholesterol levels.
While fruits and vegetables are an important source of phytonutrients, commercial farming practices in use today greatly diminish their antioxidant value. The overuse of chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers during cultivation are responsible. Organically grown fruits and vegetables are not doused with so many chemicals, and have been shown to possess far stronger antioxidant properties than their commercially grown counterparts.
Sadly, for many consumers around the world organic fruits and vegetables are either too expensive or simply not available at their local produce markets or supermarket shelves. Canned fruits and vegetables can be used as an alternative, but they unfortunately contain many preservatives, sugars and calories that negate any useful antioxidant effects.
In many cases where fresh organic produce is not readily available, the answer lies with dietary supplements. Supplements can be an excellent and affordable source of antioxidants with none of the problems associated with commercially cultivated produce or canned foods. Coenzyme Q10, commonly known as CoQ10 is the most commonly sold antioxidant supplement.
Another popular choice for antioxidant dietary supplements are those that contain phytonutrients. The phytonutrients used in such supplements are derived from the pigments of fruits and vegetables, and can be an invaluable source of antioxidants. In certain cases it is better to consume phytonutrient supplements for their antioxidant benefits instead of the fruits and vegetables from which they are derived – for example, carrots are rich in antioxidants but can also significantly elevate blood sugar levels.
While it is important to eat the daily recommended amount of fruits or vegetables for a variety of health benefits, dietary antioxidant supplements can play an important role as well. Supplements can provide all the antioxidant levels your body needs without any of the chemicals, calories or sugars associated with non-organic produce.
Another source of antioxidants, one which is often overlooked, is meats and steaks. Not only are these a great source of antioxidants but they are also rich in protein. Nutritional supplements are not meant as a replacement for a balanced and healthy diet, they are there to help you get the required amount of antioxidants in the absence of any viable alternatives.

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