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Diabetes Challenge - For a healthier YOU in 2018
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Antioxidants

Antioxidants are essential ingredients in maintaining a fit and healthy body. They are organic substances that bind with 'free radicals', cleansing the body and restoring balance.

During normal cell metabolism, oxygen molecules (O2) are released into the bloodstream in a non-oxidised state. Known as free radicals, these oxygen molecules naturally want to oxidise and so look for other molecules to bind with. If no antioxidants are present they will bind with other molecules producing compounds, some of which are carcinogenic in nature.

Besides cell metabolism, free radicals may also form as a by-product of environmental factors. Exposure to tobacco smoke for instance increases the presence of free radicals in the bloodstream. Cancer, heart disease and strokes can result if free radicals go unchecked.

Deactivating free radicals is the job of antioxidants. When antioxidants are present in the bloodstream they latch onto these free radical oxygen molecules, locking them into compounds and so preventing them from forming carcinogenic alliances. Good sources of antioxidants come from fruit and vegetables, especially those with deep bright colours such as peppers, tomatoes, spinach and carrots or anything classified in the carotenoid food group. Foods containing vitamins A, C and E are also rich in antioxidants as is the mineral selenium.

For more information on antioxidants, please review the resources on our site.

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