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Herbs, Vitamins, & Supplements

Foundational Five: Antioxidants

Disclaimer: The following information has not been approved by the FDA. This information should not be interpreted as medical advice and is not a substitute for a visit with a medical care professional. Always speak to your doctor about any health concerns. 

The Empire State Building was the world’s tallest building for forty years. The 1,454 foot structure’s foundation only extends 55 feet below grade, but it is able to hold up a building 103 stories tall, weighing over 365,000 tons. That’s a strong foundation!

A building’s foundation is designed by engineers. They have to take into account many variables as they develop plans…soil structure, the possibility of earth quakes and tornadoes, wind exposure, etc.

The foundation that makes up the base of your health needs to be strong to withstand the onslaughts of health and lifestyle choices, and environmental factors. The Healthy Place believes that the five power-packed nutrients that make up the Foundational Five will help you build your own strong foundation.  They are multi-vitamins, probiotics, omega-3 oils, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories.


What Are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals and enzymes that counteract the damaging process of oxidation in body tissue.

What’s Their Job?

To understand what an antioxidant does in the body, you need to have a little understanding of free radicals.

Free radicals are highly reactive, unstable molecules. They work by robbing cells of one of their electrons. A normal balance between free radicals and antioxidants is maintained in a healthy body, with free radicals performing some important functions of their own, and antioxidants working to keep their numbers under control. When  balance between these two is disrupted free radicals begin to multiply, scavenging your body and damaging cellular membranes, proteins and DNA.

The damage done by the free radicals is called oxidative stress. It is the same process that causes iron to rust, oils to become rancid, and peeled apples to turn brown. Oxidative stress can affect every organ in your body.

Antioxidants provide cellular protection that guards us from oxidative stress and cleanses the body from toxins in the food, water and air. Many antioxidants work to recharge the mitochondria, which is the furnace or powerhouse of the cell.

Because this is an ongoing process we need to make sure we are providing our body with a continual supply of antioxidants through diet and supplements.

Who Needs Antioxidants?

Everybody! We all need to have a steady supply of antioxidants. Production of free radicals is part of our normal body processes, but there are also external stressors that cause them to proliferate.

These stressors include:

  • Poor Diet: This includes consumption of rancid (oxidized) fats, processed and refined foods, sugar and sweeteners. It also includes a diet low in healthy fruits and vegetables.
  • Alcohol Consumption
  • Smoking
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Over-Exercise
  • Stress

What Are Antioxidant’s Health Benefits?

  • Increased Energy
  • Increased Brain Function
  • Reduced Cancer Risk
  • Detoxification Support
  • Slower Aging/Increased Life Span
  • Healthy Skin, Hair and Nails
  • Supports Immune Structure
  • DNA Repair

Isn’t Food A Better Source?

Consuming a diet rich in antioxidants is a good way to meet your body’s needs. To do this you need to have an unprocessed diet that is full of a variety of high-quality, raw organic foods, particularly fruits and vegetables. This isn’t a pitch for a raw diet. But to receive the maximum benefit from antioxidants they should be consumed in a state closest to their harvested form. Juicing is a great way to achieve this. So including a variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, sprouts, nuts, and some herbs and spices will keep your antioxidant levels strong and steady.

Including an antioxidant supplement to augment your diet is a good idea. As noted above, your need for antioxidants is constant and, depending on your circumstances, it may be difficult to consume enough to protect your body from free radical damage.

What To Look For In An Antioxidant

Individual antioxidants address specific health problems and/or weaknesses. For example CoQ10 works to produce cell energy, and maintain healthy blood pressure. It also supports heart health, and the immune and nervous system. Another antioxidant, astaxanthin, supports immune function and cardiovascular health but also provides protection from Alzheimer’s disease, relieves indigestion and reflux, increases fertility and provides protection for your eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration.

You can see that some of the benefits of these two different antioxidants overlap and some are unique. Supplementation allows you to address a particular health concern.

Because antioxidant supplements come in many types, it can be very confusing to determine what you need. While there are some that provide strong general support, this is an area where you can get really specific to individual requirements.

If you need more information on this important supplement, or any of the other nutrients included in the Foundational Five, contact us or stop at one of our four stores, located in Madison, Wisconsin.Call The Healthy Place. One of our team will be happy to help you find the antioxidant that meets your unique needs.

This is written as an informational guide and is not meant to replace professional medical care. 



*Disclaimer: All information and recommendations given on this site, in email correspondence, newsletters or other materials provided by The Healthy Place is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice nor be viewed as a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a healthcare provider. Consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before modifying, stopping, or starting the use of any medications, health programs, diets, and/or supplements, as well as regarding any health concerns you may have. Our statements and information have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. As with any health-related program, product, or service, your risks and results may vary. We expressly disclaim responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the information provided to you here.”

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