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How Antioxidants Help Prevent Aging

Sep 26, 2009

Who knew that antioxidants and aging were connected? It has been proven that antioxidants found in wine, tea, coffee, blueberries, grapes, and other fruits and vegetables can help prevent aging and increase your lifespan. As you age, your cell division and replacement of dead or damaged cells slows down. Antioxidants can speed up the cell division and cell replacement processes, which can help to slow the overall effects of aging and prevent specific age-related diseases.

Antioxidants Neutralize Harmful Free Radicals

Antioxidants neutralize harmful free radicals in your body, which can cause several serious or life-threatening diseases and health problems including heart disease, cancer, immune dysfunction, diabetes, and degenerative brain disorders (including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease). Harmful free radicals exist everywhere in our environment, but they are concentrated in pollution, chemicals, radiation, pesticides, alcohol, drugs, unhealthy food and even sunshine. Antioxidants help to keep your cells healthy and youthful, which can prevent age-related illnesses, relieve stress and increase your lifespan.

Antioxidant-Rich Foods Will Keep You Healthy and Youthful

Antioxidants commonly found in food sources are vitamin a, vitamin c, vitamin c, beta carotene, selenium and zinc. Beta-carotene belongs to a family of nutrients called carotenoids. These antioxidants are responsible for the orange pigment in carrots, cantaloupe, carrots and sweet potatoes. They are known to boost your immunity.

The vegetables that contain the most antioxidants are:

  • broccoli
  • spinach
  • sprouts
  • beets
  • red peppers
  • carrots
  • tomatoes

The fruits that contain the most antioxidants are:

  • berries
  • grapes
  • oranges
  • apricots
  • plums
  • grapefruits
  • peaches

As a general rule, the richer the color of the fruit or vegetable, the more antioxidants it contains.

Laboratory studies have shown that lycopene is the most powerful carotenoid when it comes to combating certain types of free radicals. Population studies have shown that people who eat a lycopene-rich diet have a better long-term health profile than those that don't.

Antioxidants Can Prevent Aging and Specific Age-Related Diseases

There are several specific ways antioxidants can prevent aging and age-related diseases, and increase your life span:

  • By relaxing your blood vessels and decreasing the oxidation of unhealthy cholesterol, antioxidants can keep you feeling youthful and energetic while reducing your risk of heart attack and strokes.
  • By keeping all of your body’s cells healthy, antioxidants can help you look and feel youthful while preventing certain types of cancer and diabetes. Youthful, healthy cells also provide more immunity to flues, viruses, and infections.
  • By targeting unhealthy, cancerous cells and destroying them, antioxidants are also being studied as a treatment for cancer in combination with radiation. It is also believed that the antioxidant reservatrol may reduce pancreatic cancer’s resistance to chemotherapy.

Add Antioxidants To Your Lifestyle

Increasing your intake of antioxidants is easy. By eating dark-colored fruits and vegetables, and drinking a few cups of black, green, or oolong tea per day, you will be consuming healthy antioxidants every day. Coffee drinkers who drink up to two cups of coffee per day also get a daily dose of antioxidants in their coffee, whether it is caffeinated or not. Drinking one glass of wine per day will also boost your antioxidant intake, which can keep you feeling young and youthful and increase your lifespan.

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