The Healthy Alphabet: A is for Antioxidants

More than Paul McCartney singing Hey Jude at the opening ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympics, what really got to me was how I wanted to be like those athletes.  Deep in the recesses of my heart, I’ve always wanted to become a professional basketball player.

We all do know that any dreams of making it big in sports will entail boundless physical energy and discipline.   In order to achieve any goals of making it to the next parade of athletes, one must be of sound mind and body.  One way to do that is by making sure that the body gets its daily dose of antioxidants.
Among the wide range of men’s and women’s vitamins, certain vitamins known as antioxidants play a major role in the cell-protection system of our bodies.  These include vitamins A, C, and E, retinoil and the carotenoids.  Their job is to neutralize highly reactive and unstable molecules- or free radicals- which our bodies produce.
Antioxidants lower the risk of chronic illnesses and delay the ageing process.  They also help give your immune system a boost during times of stress.
Rich sources of beta carotene are carrots, pumpkin, and cantaloupe.  You can get vitamin C from broccoli, oranges, potatoes and tomatoes.  Your best bets for anti-aging Vitamin E would be corn oil, peanut butter, margarine, and wheat germ.
We adults sometimes have problems getting enough antioxidants in our daily diet, though.  We can curb this by eating at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables each day.  If you still can’t stick to that 5 a day campaign, you can ask your doctor about vitamin supplements.

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