Most people have probably heard the news about antioxidants and free radicals. If they haven’t they probably just weren’t paying attention. It is nearly impossible to not be exposed to the information in some form of media.
Many people think that antioxidants are the most powerful form of medicine that nature produces. Traditional medicine is made up of many different natural medicines and antioxidants are one of those, even though hundreds of years ago no one knew what a free radical was or what antioxidants did to them.
The technical definition, given by the National Cancer Institute is “antioxidants are substances that may protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. Free radical damage may lead to cancer”.
Now, just what does that mean in laymen’s terms? Antioxidants mingle with some of the free radicals in the body before they are able to cause damage to the cells. This promotes health skin, prevents disease, and basically keeps people from developing many illnesses.
Free radicals are created when pollutants enter the body and react with oxygen. These cells are unstable and steal from healthy cells making them unstable. This starts a cycle that leads to disease and sickness and premature aging.
Antioxidants are able to buffer free radicals by giving them an electron without themselves turning into free radicals. Antioxidants are found in nature in many of the foods that make up a healthy, well-balanced diet.
Most of the foods that are high in antioxidants can be found in the local market in the produce sections. Both antioxidants and xanthones, another phytochemical found in tropical fruits that are powerful in the battle against free radicals, are abundant and easily accessed.
Pineapple, sour cherries, cranberries, blueberries, mangosteen and many other fruits are packed full of antioxidants and xanthones.
Singapore researchers recently found that carambola or ‘star fruit’ has an unusually high amount of antioxidants, in fact, it is over 70% pure polypohenol.
Xanthones, on the other hand, are found in only a few tropical fruits. Mangosteen in particular is full of xanthones, containing over thirty different kinds, mainly in the rind. It has been referred to as a super-antioxidant.
Mangosteen are potent sources of antioxidants, often described as the most powerful source of antioxidant nature has to offer. Not only do they contain over thirty xanthones, they are also heat stable. This means they retain their health properties even when heated or cooked.
Antioxidants and xanthones are thought to be responsible for reducing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other diseases while at the same time promoting overall good health.
In addition to protecting the body from disease these compounds are thought to fight the aging process by preventing wrinkles and age spots from forming and by keeping the skin tight and fresh looking.
Antioxidants and free radicals as news headlines aren’t going away anytime soon. In fact, as more research results come to light, the headlines are only going to continue. The good news is that the results are positive which is beneficial to good health for everyone.