You hear a lot about supplements called antioxidants, while most people have a vague idea that they remove these things called “free radicals” from the body and somehow they can relieve a number of ailments, slow aging and benefit the skin.
Of course, all of this is true, and if you are happy only knowing this or are one of those clever clogs that has already read all the information about antioxidants and feel you know it all already then you don’t need to read this article, but who knows? You might find it interesting or SOMETHING here you did not know already. So here goes:
Antioxidant: Any Herb, Vitamin or Mineral that contains compounds that remove free radicals from the system.
Free Radical: Chemical compounds, formed as part of normal metabolism, that only have one electron, instead of the pair they need to be stable. These unstable molecules wander around the body causing all sorts of damage. They may trigger cancers, speed aging and trigger other degenerative diseases.
What do antioxidants do?
They remove the most damaging free radicals from the body, the ones that cause oxidative stress.
Where do antioxidants come from?: Antioxidants are acquired from eating raw, unprocessed, fruit and vegetables and raw freshly squeezes fruit and vegetable juices. Food processing destroys antioxidants, cooking destroys a lot of them and reduces their potency. What this means is that the modern diet lends itself to a deficiency in antioxidant and the various potential health problems.
What are the best antioxidants?: The most potent known antioxidants are the carotenoids (plant colourings), the most potent of these is Natural Astaxanthin, the red coloured antioxidant derived from red marine algae. It is also contained in some abundance in edible marine animals and salmon. A synthetic version is available and also sold as a cheap supplement, but this has little nutritional value. The next most potent of the carotenoid antioxidants is beta carotene. The richest source of natural beta-carotene is Spirulina. Beta-carotene is orange coloured by this often cannot be seen in vegetables like Spirulina which have a high chlorophyll level (which is dark green), other high sources are carrots, spinach, gourds, peppers and sweet potato.
The best way to get your antioxidants or any other nutrition for that matter is from food. Food contains the nutrient in the right form, with all of its attendant enzymes and related nutrients, many nutrients have a synergistic relationship. As you may know, however, intensive farming, poor harvesting and poor storage methods in the effort to produce food results in low quality food, which is lacking in basic nutrient quality. By all means go on an all organic diet with high quality compost grown food but there are a couple of other ways to get extra antioxidants.
The first way is to purchase a good quality antioxidant complex, the other is to purchase blue green algae supplements that are rich in the most potent antioxidants, the carotenoids, and Spirulina is actually the richest in beta carotene and several other carotenoid antioxidants. Astaxanthin is available as a supplement, Bioxanthin, or Bioastin as it is known in the U.S is the best. Red Marine Algae supplements that contain Astaxanthin are available and very nourishing.
It is worth checking out individual antioxidants as they each are particularly good for detoxing a specific part of the body. For example Astaxanthin and COQ10 can both cross the blood/brain barrier (not all antioxidants can) and are highly beneficial to the eyes. Astaxathin is good for silent inflammation and the heart, COQ10 is also good for the heart muscles, Pycnogenol is great for the immune system and circulation etc. etc. So it is worth researching what one is suitable for you.
There I s no doubt that eating a bad diet lowers your antioxidant intake and therefore speeds up the aging process and makes you more prone to degenerative and inflammatory diseases, so make sure you are getting enough.