Antioxidants are important for our bodies to grow properly. Antioxidants can be consumed through eating a healthy, well-balanced diet rich in vitamins A and C. You should always try to obtain your daily doses from your diet and try to avoid taking supplements. Taking more vitamins and minerals than you should can be harmful to your health. As a general rule, you should not take additional antioxidant supplements if you eat a well-balanced diet. If you must take a supplement, it should be just that - to supplement (add to) nutrients to your diet, not replace them. Many people take supplements as replacements, which should only be used on occasions where a deficiency has been detected by a physician.
Benefits of Antioxidants
It is believed by some that antioxidants can help prevent and even cure some types of cancer. It is also believed that they reduce the risk of heart disease. Also, there are some antioxidants that have been shown to slow down the aging process. Some are thought to even help people lose excess weight. This may be true, but you should never take more than the recommended daily dose of any vitamin or mineral. It can prove to be more harmful than helpful.
Foods that are Good Sources of Antioxidants
Some foods that are naturally rich in antioxidants are wheat germ, nuts, seeds, avocados, dark chocolate, many berries, fruits, dark green vegetables, sweet peppers, citrus fruits, strawberries, blueberries, Brazil nuts, halibut, tuna, turkey, broccoli and milk. There are many other foods that will give you your antioxidants naturally. Eating the recommended servings of these foods daily will give you an ample supply of antioxidants.
Why Take Antioxidant Supplements?
Some people believe that they need to take a supplement. The American Heart Association does not recommend taking supplements. They recommend that a person take a multivitamin. They also recommend eating a well-balanced diet. They believe this is the best way to not overdose on any one vitamin. Too much of any item can cause adverse affects on the body. So, it is imperative that you limit the amount of over-the-counter supplements you take.
Some Daily Requirements
As a general rule, your consumption should not exceed 200 mg a day of any one vitamin or mineral. This is easily achieved with a well-balanced diet. Vitamin C is a water soluble antioxidant, so if you take more than that, it does not usually cause any harm to the body. You need to be very careful not to take too much vitamin E or selenium, however. Taking more than the recommended daily dose can be extremely harmful. It can even cause toxic levels in your body, which can cause severe damage and even become fatal. Be careful with supplements and see a medical professional before deciding to include supplements in your daily routine. A doctor can point you in the right direction if you feel that you are lacking the proper amount of antioxidants.