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Stay Healthy With Antioxidants

zongxujian 于2007-06-11发布 l 已有人浏览
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The reason fruits and vegetables are so important to your overall health is that they are major purveyors of antioxidants.

Antioxidant molecules are like the missile defense system of your body, preventing damage from molecular bombs called free radicals. It works like this: In order to breathe, move, or eat, your body's cells convert food and oxygen into energy. This chemical reaction releases harmful byproducts, the free radicals we mentioned. Basically, they're highly reactive forms of oxygen that are missing an electron. Desperate for that missing electron, they steal them from normal cells, damaging the healthy cell and its DNA in the process. This damage eventually contributes to any number of major health problems, including heart disease, memory loss, and cancer.

Antioxidants, however, interfere with this process by giving free radicals one of their own electrons to stabilize them. Or they combine with free radicals to form different, more stable compounds. There are also antioxidant enzymes that help free radicals react with other chemicals to produce safe, instead of toxic, substances. Antioxidants, for instance, help prevent "bad" LDL cholesterol from becoming stickier and forming plaque.

This is the reason the health establishment is so insistent on people eating more fresh produce: It provides around-the-clock defenses against free-radical damage to your arteries.

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