The hottest topic of discussion in the world of health and nutrition is currently centered around antioxidants and their unique ability to help your body remain youthful, protect against excessive stress, and to prevent degradation of your immune system to keep you disease-free. But what are these miraculous antioxidants? And where do they actually come from?
Antioxidants are depicted scientifically as molecules that have the capacity of slowing or preventing the oxidation of other molecules. The prefix ‘anti’ means against. Oxidation is a naturally occurring process that is part of an immune system “burst” where electrons are transferred from one substance to an oxidative agent. The important understanding here is that oxidation is A NATURAL PROCESS, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s simply that in our current society there is an over-exposure to environmental toxins, electromagnetic noise, pollution, and other superfluous compounds that put excessive oxidative stress on the body.
What this equates to is overactive immune systems, and epidemic of auto-immune conditions. The natural oxidative process is exacerbated to the point that the body becomes disoriented in recognizing the standard pathogens and processes that need to be regulated, from recognizing its own healthy cells and tissues. This ultimately leads to accelerated aging and degeneration.
Here to the rescue come the antioxidants and super antioxidants to bring regulation to this process, essentially flooding the body with free electrons to balance out the over-activity of the stressed and disoriented immune system.
Your body’s immune system requires a TON of energy to run when dealing with a constant bombardment of stress. With your body’s immune system in optimal condition, this frees up a tremendous amount of energy and translates to:
*More stamina and strength
*Enhanced organ function
*Improved cellular communication
*Release of excess weight (in the form of toxins being able to be safely released and neutralized from the fat cells).
To put it simply, your body is too smart, and will not be motivated at all to release the excess waste products from your tissues without the insurance that you’ll be able to safely and efficiently remove them from your system. This is a built in insurance policy to keep you alive. And many people go on fighting the battle of the bulge with ineffective diets and exercise, when your body could really care less about any of that when its first priority is keeping you alive.
By getting the RIGHT sources of antioxidants in your diet, you can truly get the upper hand on permanent weight loss, having more energy, and insuring that you remain disease-free and healthy. The big secret that you would be hard pressed to discover is that the scientific representation of an antioxidant is a molecule, but the physical representation of an antioxidant is a color. That’s right, an antioxidant is ultimately just a color!
So where are the best and most abundant sources of antioxidants found? Obviously, you want to select from a wide array of fresh fruits and vegetables to get the entire spectrum of antioxidants available. The issue again here is that in our current society, even if you’re eating organic food, most of the foods that are available to us in our neighborhood grocery markets are grown in deficient soils, and lead to weak and insufficient availability of nutrients to the human body… This again articulates the issue that so many people have with getting what their bodies actually need, and getting their weight loss and health in check the way that they want it to be.
Now enters the incredible world of a new class of foods known rightfully as Superfoods. These are incredible foods that have, not just one or two highly beneficial qualities, but many of them have 10 to 20 or more, and are often complete foods in and of themselves.
The greatest take away from this powerful insight into antioxidants, is that they are optimally consumed and assimilated in their raw and unfractioned form. This means that there isn’t an “isolation” of the nutrients within the food; it is the complete array of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, enzymes, and coenzymes that would typically be destroyed in the heating process. Many of the most powerful antioxidants work synergistically with the other nutrients in the food substrate that it's received from, and moreover, can even amplify the assimilation of the antioxidants through what is known as phytonutrient combining to dramatically enhance the effects. This is the profound benefit of adding in raw superfoods… You get way more bang for your buck.
Some of the important antioxidants to look for are:
*Tocopherols and Tocotrienols (Vitamin E)
*Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C)
*Antioxidant Enzymes (superoxide dismutases)
Some of the greatest sources of these important antioxidants are found in superfoods like:
*Camu Camu Berry – The highest source of botanical vitamin C of any researched food (30 times more Vitamin C than oranges)
*The increasingly popular Goji berry – rich in beta-carotene (approximately 7 times the amount in carrots) as well as flavonoids, over 20 trace minerals, and 19 amino acids
*And one of my personal favorites chocolate! In its beautiful natural state as the Cacao nut [pronounced ka-kao], it’s the highest source of antioxidants of any commonly known food. It’s LOADED with a wide array of antioxidant constituents, essential fatty acids, vital minerals and trace minerals, and MAO inhibitors that assist in the bioavailability and assimilation of the other food/ nutrient sources that it’s combined with.
For example, by combining raw chocolate (which is a powerhouse antioxidant on its own) with blueberries, which is another top notch antioxidant food, research indicates that it will triple the absorption of antioxidants (from both foods) into your blood.
This is an incredible start to get your body and health in the shape that you want it to be in. There is such a wide array of incredible superfoods, and it’s important to find out which ones are right for you. For more information on the most critical and beneficial superfoods in the world, stay updated at www.themodelhealthshow.com
Shawn Stevenson is a Professional Nutritionist specializing in biochemistry and kinesiological science, as well as advanced treatment for acute and chronic disorders. He is the author of several books including The Key to Quantum Health, The Detox Success System, and The Fat Loss Code.