What Are Antioxidants & Why Are They Important?

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Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. explains the importance of antioxidants.  As free radicals build up in our bodies, we need antioxidants to neutralize and remove them.  Free radicals come from various sources such as polluted air, polluted water, and cigarettes.  Over time, free radicals build up and damage cells. While our bodies create some antioxidants, they don’t produce nearly enough.  We obtain the majority of antioxidants from brightly colored fruits and vegetables, but average American only eats around 2 servings of fruits and veggies each day.  The recommended servings for fruits and vegetables are between 10-12 daily.

Foods with high levels of antioxidants:

  • tea
  • red wine
  • dark chocolate
  • beans
  • cherries
  • plums
  • apples
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • russet potatoes
  • bell peppers

In order to reduce the free radical levels in the body:

  • reduce stress
  • reduce exposure to pollution
  • stop smoking
  • eat 10-12 servings of fruits and vegetables each day
  • take vitamin supplements

 

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