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In health and fitness, diet and nutrition are the most important aspects to healthy living. Antioxidants are chemical substances that are known for having protective properties against the damage caused by free radicals. A dietary antioxidant is a food or vitamin supplement that contains antioxidants. Examples of dietary antioxidants include foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene.
Free radicals are destructive forces within the human body responsible for the aging process. Dietary antioxidants help reduce free radicals within the body and counteract their destructive effect. Eating a healthy diet of fruit and vegetables is an excellent way to ensure proper dietary antioxidants are consumed on a daily basis.
Vitamin C is an excellent dietary antioxidant and is typically found in citrus fruits. This antioxidant is essential for assisting the human immune system, skin, and heart. Vitamin C is available in most fruit drinks and is known as one of the safest supplements to consume on a daily basis. Because excess vitamin C is lost through body secretion, it is difficult to ingest too much vitamin C in a daily diet.
Antioxidants are readily available in most berries, fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. These food groups are a good natural source of dietary antioxidant. Taking additional supplements is not necessary if an individual is following a proper diet of fruit and vegetables.
Many dietary plant foods are rich in antioxidant properties. These include cauliflower, carrots, onions, tomatoes, broccoli, kale, and spinach. The antioxidant qualities of these foods generate a defense mechanism for the body to fight off harmful chemicals and free radicals that may cause cancer and heart disease.
Most vegetables that are bright in color have a high content of vitamins and minerals. These bright colors include dark greens, yellows, orange, and red. Dark green leafy vegetables contain some of the most concentrated sources of nutrition. These vegetables are rich in dietary antioxidants because they contain high amounts of minerals and vitamins.
Many studies have shown that dietary antioxidants help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. A diet rich in Vitamin C and E has been shown to reduce the free radical expansion in the human body. While supplements are available for most vitamins, excessive vitamin consumption has severe side effects and should be avoided.
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