Antioxidants are found in bright colored fruits and vegetables, but what do they actually do? How do they help or hurt the body? Should they be taken as a supplement or naturally by food? We have the answers.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are substances that prevent or slow cell damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals, also known as reactive oxygen species (ROS), are waste substances produced as a byproduct of turning food into energy and reacting to the environment (e.g. breathing in polluted air or cigarette smoke). Free radicals present a threat to the body as they are capable of damaging cells and genetic material. Our body works hard to make molecules that fight against free radicals.
Antioxidants help to neutralize the harmful free radicals. Thus, they protect against oxidative stress which is the result of free radical induced cell damage. This protection is thought to boost overall health.
Types Of Antioxidants
There are hundreds of types of antioxidants, both natural and artificial. Antioxidants that are produced by the body are called endogenous antioxidants. Man-made antioxidants, or antioxidants that come from anything outside of the body, are called exogenous antioxidants. These different types have different functions and are not interchangeable, so it is important to get antioxidants from many different places.
Common antioxidants are found in
- Vitamin A – dairy and eggs
- Vitamin C – fruits and vegetables
- Vitamin E – nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables
- Beta-carotene – brightly colored fruits and vegetables
- Lycopene – pink and red fruits and vegetables
- Selenium – rice, corn, wheat and whole grains
Antioxidant supplements can be beneficial, but should not completely replace the antioxidants you receive from your diet. Taking a high-dose antioxidant supplement can sometimes end up being more harmful than helpful and lead to various health risks. It is best for the body to receive most antioxidants from foods, primarily fruits and veggies.
Although high-dose antioxidant supplements can have various risks, adding the proper dose of antioxidants to other supplements (such as a multivitamin) can enhance the benefits of natural antioxidants.
At Sawgrass Nutra Labs, we care about producing safe and effective products, which means we will not produce anything that will be harmful to the body. If you’d like to get the benefits of antioxidants without the risk, contact us. Our scientists are trained and equipped to formulate the perfect serving size to add to your multivitamin.