Why Is Taking Antioxidants a Bad Idea?

Why Is Taking Antioxidants a Bad Idea?

written by: Joan Kent
by: Joan Kent
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Why Is Taking Antioxidants a Bad Idea?

by Joan Kent, PhD

Oxidation is a process that gives us energy by combining glucose with oxygen to make ATP, a fuel, in the cells. The down side is the production of free radicals that may be harmful if produced in excess or for a long time. This very brief post is about simple steps for optimizing oxidation for our health.

When we exercise, a beneficial type of oxidation helps the body defend against damaging oxidative stress. Regular exercise triggers an adaptation that's health-promoting. For example, exercise-induced oxidation can reduce insulin resistance – an underlying factor in a number of metabolic conditions.

The balance between good and bad oxidation may be interfered with if we take antioxidant supplements, specifically vitamins C and E. For years, these vitamins have been touted as key antioxidants for fighting free radical formation triggered by exercise.

But it turns out we should not fight the oxidative stress triggered by exercise. That's what brings on the beneficial effects of exercise.

This apparently applies to antioxidant supplements, not natural antioxidants in foods. So don't give up your healthful vegetables and fruits!

Simple Plan for Fighting Oxidative Stress

• Exercise regularly.

• Avoid antioxidant supplements, especially vitamins C and E.

• Avoid junky foods, such as sugar and white flour products.

• Eat healthful foods that contain natural antioxidants. Examples of foods with antioxidants are listed below.

Vegetables: dark green leafy vegetables, including kale, chard, collards, and spinach; broccoli; artichokes; asparagus; squash

Fruits: blueberries; blackberries; raspberries; strawberries; cranberries; goji berries; red or purple grapes; figs; apples; prunes; sweet cherries

Other foods: walnuts; pecans; Brazil nuts; hazelnuts; pistachios; cashews; beets; sweet potatoes; russet potatoes; red, black, kidney and pinto beans

Tea (especially green tea) is a good choice, but adding milk to it will block its antioxidants.

Much more can be said about every point briefly mentioned in this short post, but the steps above are offered as a simple plan toward health.

If you'd like help balancing good and bad oxidative stress, I would love to help you. Just visit www.LastResortNutrition.com and grab your free Empowered Eating Consult. Find out how easy it is to get fitness and food working for your best health.

Brought to you by Dr. Joan Kent, best-selling author of Stronger Than Sugar: 7 Simple Steps to Defeat Sugar Addiction, Lift Your Mood, and Transform Your Health.

written by: Joan Kent

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