It is now a common knowledge that antioxidants are beneficial for your health. There are two ways to make sure that you get your intake of antioxidants. One is to include foods rich in antioxidants in your everyday diet. Another is to take an antioxidant supplement. Which way is better? Do antioxidant dietary supplements provide the same benefits to your health as natural antioxidants?
The market is full of antioxidant pills, drinks and other products that all claim to have anti-aging effect and even protect you from cancer. Many of them have minerals and vitamins that are intended to straighten your immune system, and generally have a positive effect on your health.
Antioxidant food supplements are not a recent discovery
Antioxidant supplements have been on the market for a very long time. Only they were not called that. Every time you take a Vitamin C, Vitamin A or Vitamin E supplement, you are taking an antioxidant. They have gained a tremendous popularity in recent years, because now it is scientifically proved that antioxidants can prevent many types of cancer.
Vitamin C supplement is an antioxidant
One of the most powerful antioxidants is actually a good old Vitamin C that also protects us from common cold. Vitamin C supplements are inexpensive and easy to find. So here is your first antioxidant supplement, even if it is not called that way on the jar. Also don’t forget about natural sources of Vitamin C, such as oranges, grapefruits, grape and their juices.
Vitamin C is the only water soluble vitamin, so it is nearly impossible to overdose on it. 500 mg daily is considered an optimum dose. When drinking packaged orange juice, check the label. Many juice companies add additional vitamin C to their juices, so quite often a single glass of orange juice a day can be sufficient for your antioxidant vitamin C intake.
Vitamin A and E supplements
Vitamin A, beta carotene and Vitamin E are also strong antioxidants. Many foods contain these vitamins, and they also come in a supplement form. Cheaper supplements are synthetic, more expensive ones are derived from natural sources, like grape seeds. Some scientists argue that synthetic antioxidants are as good as the natural ones. But majority of doctors recommend natural antioxidant supplements to their patients.
American Heart Association doesn’t consider supplements beneficial
Antioxidants are very beneficial not only to prevent cancer, but also to prevent many heart deceases. American Heart Association doesn’t approve of taking antioxidant vitamin supplements to improve your health. They believe that natural antioxidant foods are better. American Heart Association argues that there is no evidence that antioxidant supplements provide cardiovascular protection.
Their studies revealed that our body doesn’t absorb antioxidant supplements as well as it absorbs natural vitamins from fruits and vegetables. So vitamins supplement don’t do you any harm, but they don’t bring too much benefit either.
Other doctors, on the other hand, argue that antioxidant supplements are beneficial for your health. A supplement can help you have a proper antioxidant intake even if you don’t get it with food.
While doctors still argue, it make sense to include as much of antioxidant food in your diet as your can. Especially that most fruits are not only a rich antioxidant source, but they are also high in fiber and low in fat. So you shouldn’t try to replace natural sources of antioxidants with supplements. However, it is a good idea to take an additional antioxidant supplement as well, because with a level of pollution and stress in modern life your body needs all the help it can get.