The body produces its own antioxidant enzymes to keep free radicals under control. However, to produce sufficient quantities of these enzymes, it needs fuel in the form of antioxidant nutrients such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
Dietary sources not always sufficient
Unfortunately, few people nowadays consume sufficient quantities of these nutrients to bolster their antioxidant defence systems. Not even a balanced diet guarantees the ideal intake of essential nutrients.
Research has shown that our fruit and vegetables no longer have the same nutritional value of those eaten by our grannies some 50 years ago.
Changes in farming techniques have considerably lowered the nutrient contents of our crops. Fruit and vegetables normally are not quite fresh by the time we buy them. They are exposed to high temperatures during preparation, long storage, exposure to light and heat, incorrect freezing and preserving, all of which destroy some of the vitamin and mineral content.
A question of balance
Our diets not only lack sufficient antioxidant nutrients to support our natural defence systems, our lifestyles also lead to increased free radical production, creating an imbalance. As a result, the body’s antioxidant enzymes cannot always cope with all the free radicals that are produced, increasing our risk of disease.
“The balance between your antioxidant intake and exposure to free radicals may literally be the balance between life and death. You may tip the scales in your favour by simple changes to your diet and antioxidant supplementation," says well-known author and health guru Patrick Holford.
According to Dr Lester Packer of the University of California at Berkeley, a leading researcher in the field of antioxidants, "the prospects for life extension and life enhancement with antioxidants have never looked better". – (Health24)