The medical world has divided opinions about antioxidant vitamins. They have the reputation of fighting old age by preventing cellular decay associated with the release of free radicals. Antioxidant vitamins include beta carotene or a form of vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin C. Many people are now taking some antioxidant supplement either to stay in good shape and maintain youth or to fight cardio-vascular disease.
At the moment, it is not 100% sure that antioxidant vitamins can improve heart conditions. Instead of taking supplements, people are encouraged to eat a balanced diet, getting nutrients from all the major food categories. Antioxidant vitamins are normally taken from food and they are enough to keep you healthy. Better consume nuts, whole grains and fruits instead of supplements!
Other natural antioxidants!
There are other substances and chemicals that the body can use to fight free radicals, and these elements act in combination with vitamins. It is good to know that free radicals appear not only as by-products of cellular activity but are also released because of sun exposure and pollution. Green tea, gingko biloba, grape seed extract, zinc and selenium have a powerful antioxidant action. Some of these are available in the form of herbal supplements, while the others can be taken directly from food. Drink one or two cups of green tea per day and have several fruit servings.
Antioxidant vitamins and physical exercises!
When you undergo strenuous physical effort after long rest periods your body is unprepared for the effort, and the system will secret more free radicals than ever at such times. The best way to fight this is not to use more antioxidant vitamins, but to actually make physical exercises part of your lifestyle. Regular exercises boost up the body’s defenses against the action of free radicals. Nevertheless scientists can hardly give an answer to whether a supplementation of antioxidant vitamins will better help an athlete deal with cellular oxidation.
Whether to take antioxidant vitamins or not!
A balanced diet is preferable to the use of supplements, and all experts agree on that. A decade ago antioxidant vitamins were considered harmless, but their health effect is no longer believed to be that positive. At present, there is growing awareness on the potential toxicity of antioxidant supplements and their interactions. Live a healthy balanced life and try not to over-supplement because that could be detrimental on the long run. As long as we provide the right nutrients, our bodies should work automatically due to the fine tuning of the defense mechanisms.