3 Myths About Antioxidants: Maybe they aren’t so great after all
You know the word, sort of what they are, and a little bit on what they do for your body, but do you really know the facts about antioxidants? Here are 3 common myths about antioxidants:
1. All Antioxidants Are Created Equally
Any molecule that protects your cells from oxidizing is technically an antioxidant, this includes familiar nutrients, like vitamins, as well as more unfamiliar types of antioxidants, like flavonoids and polyphenols – Ultimately, there are well over 7000 varieties.
However, it is not safe to assume all antioxidants work the same way
A large dose of one antioxidant will not constitute for a lack of another. For example, large doses of vitamin C will not make up the health benefits of not having enough vitamin E in one’s diet. Some antioxidants excel at fighting certain types of free radicals (yep, there are different varieties of those, too) while others are effective only in specific parts of a cell. Still others can battle free radicals only under the right conditions.
What we recommend: Have a large variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Do not focus so much on antioxidants winning the fight over free radicals rather, just know eating a healthy diet helps regulate and balance the natural harmony antioxidants and oxidants are supposed to have within your body for optimum health and wellness.
2. Exercise and Antioxidants Go Hand In Hand
According to science, perhaps not...
Working out leads to more oxidation and an increase in free radicals and that is not necessarily a negative thing. “Free-radical production is a conditional response to exercise, taking large doses of antioxidants immediately after exercise can interfere with the normal, beneficial response to exercise,” says nutritionist Alan Aragon, MS, weight-loss expert.
Scientists speculate that the oxidative stress triggered by exercise promotes insulin sensitivity and weight loss, and possibly reduces your risk of diabetes.
The oxidative stress caused by working out, is healthy for the heart, helps with weight management, and is shown to reduce the chance of diabetes and cognitive heart failure.
What we recommend: A proper diet will give all the antioxidants the body needs without relying on antioxidant supplements. When it comes to antioxidants, more is defiantly not better.
3. Free Radicals must be eliminated:
Too simplify: Antioxidants fight free radicals, which are unstable molecules in the body that can cause cellular mutation. Even though free radicals have a bad wrap and have are often connected with serious conditions like inflammation, arthritis, heart disease and certain types of cancers, they aren’t necessarily all bad. They are the results of a metabolic process called oxidation. Free radicals are essential. For example, immune cells will launch free radicals onto attacking bacteria to kill them. Free radicals are an imperative part of the body’s natural defenses.
Too many free radicals, are harmful to your health and too many antioxidants also pose many health risks. The key is balance: A healthy diet plays the most important role in the homeostasis of a happy, healthy functioning body. Make sure to eat 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.