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Antioxidants and Your Health

Research shows an abundance of antioxidants in our diets are essential to slowing down the damaging effects of free radicals. But do you need to be buying expensive and weird sounding berries from the Amazon jungle? Are your local foods enough? Do you even need to supplement in the first place?

The answers to these questions can be found in the understanding of free radicals and anti-oxidants. This may lead to the prevention of many lifestyle diseases.

Free radicals are molecules that are missing one of their electrons. That makes them unstable and highly reactive. The most common types of free radicals are made from oxygen molecules. That's why free radical damage is often called oxidation.

Oxygen free radicals "attack" the nearest molecule, trying to capture the needed electron to gain stability. This may cause damage by pulling an electron from an otherwise normal cell of your body.

When the "attacked" molecule loses its electron, it becomes a free radical - beginning a chain reaction.

Free radicals destroy cells by damaging their membranes. This causes the membrane, which takes nutirents to the cells and removes waste products, to not function properly. Consequently, the cell dies due to starvation or drowning in waste byproucts.

Free radicals also damage DNA. When this happens, mutated enzymes are produced. This prevents cells from multiplying and speeds up the aging process.

Free radicals also handcuff molecules together so they don't function properly. When this happens with the skin, for example, elasticity and smoothness is lost and the skin becomes wrinkled.

Although the body uses both oxidation and free radicals for many purposes, such as energy production and aspects of immune function, free radicals must be controlled in order to protect the body from inflammation and other types of damage.

These volatile free radicals can attack the membranes of cells, the DNA in the cells, proteins and fats in the blood stream, the collagen that lies beneath the skin and many other tissues. This can cause heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, poor eyesight and more.

Are All Free Radicals Destructive?

No. In fact, your body needs them to function. For example, you need free radicals to metabolise glucose and fat. Your body also uses white blood cells to destroy bacteria or virus-infected cells by attacking them with a burst of free radicals. Additionally, your immune system uses free radicals to destroy cancerous and other abnormal cells.

However, most people have more free radicals than they need. That's why it's important to get protection from anti-oxidants.

Anti-oxidants protect cells from the damage caused by unstable free radicals. They prevent or reduce the rate of oxidation by donating an electron to stabilize the free radical. This prevents some of the damage free radicals otherwise might cause.

There can be thousands of free-radical events taking place your body at any given moment. The availability of anti-oxidants, which are found in fruits and vegetables, can mean the difference between disease and health. This is why it's highly recommended you get nine or more servings per day.

One way to make sure you get an abundance of anti-oxidants in your diet is to take BarleyLife® Xtra. It's a quick and easy way to get your fruits and veggies every day, plus a whole lot more.

And because it's made from real food, there are no negative side effects and your body knows exactly what to do with the nutrients.

To learn more, Click Here.