Antioxidants are extremely important in ensuring that the metabolic processes of the body happen properly without undue damage to your cells. Free radicals are created as a side effect of your body’s metabolic processes. They are also made worse by poor nutrition and pollutants hanging around in your environment. Oxidative damage is something your body needs help dealing with. This is the job for antioxidants. Your cells are in a continual cycle of birth, replication and death. Your body regulates the reproduction of your cells so that it knows there aren’t any mistakes or mutations (which is called aging) prior to the division of your cells. If your body detects mutation of any sort, the cell will be instructed to not reproduce. This is supposed to prevent cancer and aging changes.
Unfortunately poisoned cells can mutate to become cancerous or malfunction in various ways. Toxicity spins all your body’s processes out of order and illness takes hold. Fortunately, antioxidants stop the oxidative damage that can be likened to rusting. Anti-oxidants are abundant in fruits, vegetables, grains, certain meats, poultry and fish. Here are some common antioxidants: Beta-carotene: found in many foods that are orange in color, including sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, squash, apricots, pumpkin, mangoes, collard greens, spinach, and kale. Lutein, best known for its association with healthy eyes: found in collard greens, spinach, and kale.
Lycopene, a potent antioxidant: found in tomatoes, watermelon, guava, papaya, apricots, pink grapefruit, blood oranges, and other foods. Estimates suggest 85 percent of American dietary intake of lycopene comes from tomatoes and tomato products. Vitamin A: found in three main forms, retinol (Vitamin A1), 3,4-didehydroretinol (Vitamin A2), and 3-hydroxy-retinol (Vitamin A3). Foods rich in vitamin A include liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, milk, egg yolks and mozzarella cheese. Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid, and can be found in high abundance in many fruits and vegetables and is also found in cereals, beef, poultry and fish. Vitamin E, also known as alpha-tocopherol, is found in almonds, in many oils including wheat germ, safflower, corn and soybean oils, and also found in mangos, nuts, broccoli and other foods.