What is an antioxidant and why is important to heart health? To really understand what an antioxidant is we need to first understand oxidation. Oxidation quite simply is the loss of electrons when two or more substances interact. You can see oxidation take place when you cut into an apple and leave it sitting out. Oxidation can be seen by the browning of the white meat of the apple. Oxidation can also be seen in the rusting of metals. Now that we understand a little about what oxidation is we can move on to an antioxidant. Antioxidants slow down the oxidative damage that is produced naturally. When the cells of our body use oxygen they naturally produce free radicals. These free radicals can cause cell damage. Antioxidant act as free radical scavengers and prevent the damaging effects of oxidation. Oxidation has been linked to such problems as heart disease, diabetes, Cancer, macular degeneration and aging. Foods such as carrots, squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and kale to name just a few are high in vitamin A and carotids which act as antioxidants. Super foods like oranges, limes, green peppers, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables are high in vitamin C also are antioxidants. Of course, the best source of antioxidants is from our food but we can also obtain antioxidants through supplementation.
Oxidation and Heart Disease.
Antioxidants are important for heart disease because oxidation of cholesterol is believed to be the part of the problem of heart disease. According to Science News oxidized lipids play a major role in heart disease. Oxidized lipids are toxic to arterial cells and in vitro test showed that oxidized cholesterol decreases a cells ability to keep out calcium. Too much calcium kills cells and characterizes advanced atherosclerotic lesions (a hardening and narrowing of the artery). Science news went on to report that low density lipoproteins, (the bad cholesterol) will not enter arterial cells until oxidized. Unfortunately oxidized cholesterol does more than just damage the cardiovascular system. Cholesterol that has been oxidized also inflames the arteries and other tissue of the body as well. So it is not cholesterol that is the problem it is oxidized cholesterol. I hope that oxidized cholesterol sticks in your mind with regards to heart disease. We can lower cholesterol all we want but if it is being oxidized the potential for a cardiovascular event (stroke, heart attack) is still very much a threat. That is why you hear of individuals with normal blood cholesterol having a stroke or heart attack. So what is the answer? Well, with regard to oxidized cholesterol again antioxidants in the diet are the key. Second best is supplementation. There are many super fruits on the market today that are powerful antioxidant. Cardio Cocktail, a nutritious supplement for your heart has three powerful antioxidants. If you want to read the rest of the article you can find it at mycardiograde.com/Antioxidant.
Source by Larry Vestal