These substances are called antioxidants. Antioxidants are natural elements that are able to reduce the toxic effects of free radicals that is to counteract unsteady oxygen molecules, helping the body to not destroy cells. The human body is more vulnerable than we think, in the context of the existence of pollution, sometimes unavoidable exposure to ultraviolet rays and compounds in food unfit.
Fortunately, we have enough “ammunition” to fight them – and win the battle. In general, it is best to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, but if for whatever reason this is not possible, stewed fruit or jam is not to be neglected, even if some of their nutrients are lost through processing.
Free radicals have been associated with many diseases including cancer, lung disease and improper functioning of the nervous and immune system. Recent medical studies have shown that antioxidants can actually inactivate free radicals and may even stop the emergence of diseases having a vital role in slowing the aging process.
Body’s immune defense system requires adequate nutrition. There are particular nutrients which play an important role in defending the organism from the attack of free radicals. Here are some of them:
Vitamin E – present in green vegetables, eggs, wheat germ, liver, oil plants. It is an essential vitamin, an antioxidant that prevents damage to lipids and essential oils, including omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin E is also a cofactor in the production of molecules important antioxidant: glutathione. Experiments showed that vitamin E reduces the damage caused by smog components.
Vitamin C – important in regenerating the body’s system. It is deeply involved in the proper action of the immune system. It is found in citrus fruits, broccoli, peppers and many other fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin A – (provitamin form – carotene). It is contained in carrots, spinach. It has natural antioxidant properties crucial to defend the lungs by the action of noxious cigarette smoke and smog.
Vitamin B – It is found in bananas, greens, carrots, apple, and potato, one of the most important vitamins for the body’s defense. Helps maintain healthy mucous membranes of the respiratory system. Provides a natural barrier to infection.
Selenium – probably the most important antioxidant for human health is the key driver of one of the most important enzymes crushing of free radicals in the body. It is found in bran, celery, garlic, fish, peas, but is often insufficient in the diet of modern man.
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