Reduce the risk of heart disease.
Prevention of some cancers.
Minimizing damage to the retina.
Prevention of sore muscles.
If you want to know how the antioxidant vitamins work, we must remember the Second World War.
Japan has had a fleet of fighters from Juba who were characterized by loyalty to defend their homeland to the point that they were sacrificing themselves for their country. They were attacking the invading ships with planes filled with bombs where they hampered them in the sea. The antioxidants for the body like the Japanese pilots who were sacrificing themselves in 1940, they the most courageous to defend your body.
Every day, the body facing about ten thousand attacks from devastating forces known as “free radicals”; which are unstable oxygen molecules each of which has lost one electron through exposure to sunlight, or pollution, or damage. These free radicals spin the body in attempt to be stable by gaining electrons from other molecules. And when they succeed in that, it creates more free radicals damaging healthy cells.
The damage caused by free radicals causes adhesion of low-density cholesterol (LDL) to the walls of arteries, causing atherosclerosis and heart disease. For example, when free radicals destroy DNA within the cell, sudden changes occurs in the cell leading to cancer, that free radicals attack the eye may lead to cataracts, and damage the retina, which is the reason of vision loss in the people who have reached fifty. And many scientists believe that free radicals are the main force behind the aging.
If you do not find what hamper the free radicals, it can cause damage that can’t be repaired. Here antioxidants interfere, where each time you eat fruits and vegetables or other foods rich in antioxidants, flood of these protective compounds enters the bloodstream. They run through the body and stand between healthy molecules in the body and the free radicals and provide electrons to these free radicals to make them stable. This nullifies the action of free radicals and keep our cells away from danger.
The three basic antioxidants:
As the body produces free radicals, it also produces antioxidants. Some are enzymes created specifically to suppress free radicals. Despite these defenders (antioxidants) resemble the suicide pilots in their courage in the past, but it can be defeated if they were attacked by car exhaust, or cigarette smoke, or if they engaged in violent exercise.
This is the time to call reserve forces: antioxidant compounds. That there are hundreds of compounds found in natural food that act as anti-oxidant in the body. It is really exciting that these reserve forces can not be run out of your body because you can eat more.
And despite the fact that researchers are discovering new anti-oxidant compounds every day, but most scientific studies focusing on three particular compound, vitamin (C), vitamin (E) and (beta-carotene).
Dr. “Alfred Ordman” professor of biochemistry in Wisconsin” Says: “There is no doubt that antioxidants play a very important role in reducing the risk of all kinds of diseases, where the scientific evidence prove this simple truth.”
The molecules of vitamin (C) (Also called “ascorbic acid”) resemble Warship that roam in every water body in order to grab the free radicals in the blood and other fluids such as lung and eye fluids. Eating a lot of food containing vitamin (C) helps to prevent damage in many areas of the body filled with liquids, such as the heart, arteries, and eyes.
Another important advantage of these water antioxidant – which are found in tropical foods, citrus fruits, red pepper, and broccoli – that it works very quickly. We have proven that vitamin (C) hinders or inhibits the free radicals before antioxidants reach to the event site.
One of the exciting discoveries for vitamin (C) that it helps to reduce the effects of aging, where in a national study conducted on 11348 people aged from 25 to 74 years old and continued over a period of ten years, the researchers studied the relationship between vitamin (C) intake and death rate. They found that men and women who consumed a great amount of vitamin (C) obtained from food and supplements – about 300 milligrams per day – recorded death rate due to heart disease much less than those who consumed a less amount of this vitamin. The men recorded a lower death rate by 42% of heart disease, while the death rate of women is decreased by 25% and even when the amount of vitamin (C) intake is less than 50 milligrams per day, the mortality rate among women declined by 10%, while among men declined by 6%.
“Other studies have shown the same results,” says Dr. “James Anström” assistant professor in scientific research at the University of “California” health workforce in “Los Angeles.”
Like most antioxidants, vitamin (C ) is known widely by researchers by its ability to protect against cancer – especially the stomach cancer – where when they compared the intake of vitamin (C) among residents of seven different countries over the past 25 years, researchers found that the more people taking vitamin (C) – About 150 milligrams per day – the more decreased the risk of death from stomach cancer.
“Although a 50 milligram of vitamin (C) per day may be insufficient, but your daily amount of vitamin (C) should not exceed 1000 mg per day in order not to hinder the work of other nutrients in your body, ” says Dr.” Robert R..Genkats ” a biology professor at the College of” Ithaca “in” New York. “
While Doctor “Ordman” advised to take 500 milligrams of vitamin (C) twice a day to keep the body stock at an optimal level, and it is better to get the most of that amount from foods.
Maintaining the stock of vitamin (C) is particularly important if you are a smoker, or living with a smokers. In order to undermine the effects of free radicals for one cigarette, you need 20 milligrams of vitamin (C).
While vitamin (C) is busy in guarding the water of the body, Vitamin (E) is engaged in drilling in areas of more intense, in order to protect the fatty tissue from the invasion of free radicals (and this vitamin is known as Alpha – tocopherol)
Fat protection makes vitamin (E) effective in the fight against heart disease. Where researchers have found that vitamin (E) – Soluble in fat – plays a powerful role in preventing cholesterol of low density lipoprotein (LDL) from oxidation and adherence to the walls of the arteries.
A number of studies conducted on a large number of people – including tens of thousands of people – have linked eating plenty of vitamin (E) and the significant drop in the risk of heart disease. And in one study that included 80,000 nurses, researchers found that women who ate a large amount of vitamin (E) – About 200 IU per day – are less than women who took 3 international units per day by one-third in suffering from heart disease.
The one promising discoveries to the health of women demonstrated by one study at the University of “New York,” the researchers examined the rate of vitamin (E) in women whose families suffered a satisfactory history with breast cancer. We have found that in case of women who eat normal amounts of vitamin (E), the risk of suffering from this disease is lowered than the women who ate less. And the benefits are more especially among young women, although it could protect those who were over menopause age.
Obtaining vitamin (E) from food – which is located mainly in cooking oils, and wheat seeds, and sunflower seeds – is important for men as well. The reason that more than 50% of men with diabetes – for example – suffer from the marital intercourse inability and mostly this is due to the damage caused by free radicals of the arteries that supply genitals with blood. But research confirms that getting enough vitamin (E) in food can help in flow of blood easily through the arteries.
Although vitamin (E) alone is effective, but it works more efficiently when combined with vitamin (C). Doctor “Ordman” says: “It seems that it is as if vitamin (C) help vitamin (E) to regain his strength again. Where after vitamin (E) is oxidized by the free radicals, vitamin (C) comes and works on renewing the activity of vitamin (E) in order to begin his work again.”
The daily amount of vitamin (E) is 30 IU, but Dr. “Ordman” recommends you to take 400 units to reach the maximum of protection.
Carotene and its friends:
The antioxidants of Beta-carotene – the orange dye in food that turns into vitamin (A) in the body – has been controversial ups and downs in the past few decades. They initially got huge popularity when scientists linked beta-carotene antioxidants with the lower rates of heart disease and cancer. But this popularity is changed, when researchers discovered that taking supplements containing”carotene” increases the risk of some of these diseases. Now, medical sciences know more about this element that it is anti-oxidant, where the reputation of the “beta-carotene” began to climb again, but in a way more careful than ever before.
Doctor “Ordman,” explaining : ” We are aware that beta-carotene has fixed benefits, but the amount needed by the people is obtained from 5 meals of fruits and vegetables per day. Therefore there is no need to take additional supplements, where there is a clear danger of taking the supplements.”
Why are foods rich with beta-carotene much better than supplements? Scientists still do not know why, but they thought that this may refers to the fact that beta-carotene has at least 500 of the siblings which all know as red pigments (Carotenoids). Scientists believe that the benefits is not in beta-carotene alone, but in group of carotenoids – brothers of beta-carotene – in preventing the growth of certain types of cancer cells.
In one of the studies that prove that carrots is good for the eyes, the researchers found that people who have higher levels of carotene have a lower incidence of impairment of the retina than those who have less than this levels by a third to half.
Accordingly, next time when you are in the ruins of products you should to fill your vehicle with a lot of foods rich in carotene such as: spinach, leafy green vegetables, and orange-colored dark fruit , and vegetables such as pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, and Cantaloupe.
Although the antioxidants work alone efficiently, but they give better results in the collective work
In one of the studies, a group of researchers from Scotland gave 50 men a mixture of antioxidants containing 100 milligrams of vitamin (C), and 400 IU of vitamin (E), and 25 milligrams of beta-carotene, then gave ineffective pills to another 50 men. After twenty weeks, they found that in men who took antioxidants, the white blood cells that fight disease (prevent damage of one-third of DNA) while the WBCs of men who took the ineffective pills doesn’t prevent the damage of that amount. This discovery is important because DNA damage can lead to the incidence of cancer.
Moreover, when we are in the process of maintaining the work of the heart, there is no more effective than vitamin (C) and (E) to do the job, and it has been confirmed by a study on aging conducted by the National Institute on , “Maryland”.Researchers have found that people who took vitamin (C) and vitamin (E) every day, the rate of the death caused by heart disease reduced by half.
Beside that antioxidants showed effectiveness against all conditions that threaten health such as heart disease and cancer, they are also useful in the prevention of diseases that of low risks such as sore muscles. Where one study found that people who don’t do exercise for long time and then suddenly do hard exercise may find relief from muscle pain with eating foods containing vitamin (E). It seems that vitamin (E) reduces the damage of free radicals that cause inflammation of the muscles.
The rest of the soldiers:
Although vitamin (C) and vitamin (E) and beta-carotene are the antioxidants that underwent many studies, it is a fraction of the huge army of protective compounds which are found in foods, for example, metal selenium and zinc are working as powerful antioxidant, as well as phenolic resin (phenol) compounds that are found in green tea, and flavonoids. Doctor “Ordman” says: “We agree that any person should be eating at least five meals of fruits and vegetables per day to ensure that he get the proper amounts of antioxidants. But regarding taking further doses of supplements, it is safe to deal with those that have undergone clinical trials for long time, and this is for the rest of the nutrients where it is best to come from food only. “
All kinds of fruits and vegetables are great sources of antioxidant. But what are the best sources? Researchers at the university of, “Tufts” in “Boston” prepared list of foods with a high percentage of vitamin (C) and beta-carotene
It is difficult to get the vitamin (E) from foods alone, although the cooking oils, nuts, seeds, wheat kernels are rich sources of this vitamin.
Here are the best sources as listed by the researchers.
Vitamin (C) in milligrams
Carotene in milligrams
Cooked Brussels sprouts
American walnut powder
Sweet potatoes, grilled
Sweet red pepper, furred