Your body can also be exposed to free radicals from a variety of environmental sources, such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, and sunlight. Free radicals can cause “oxidative stress,” a process that can trigger cell damage. Oxidative stress is thought to play a role in a variety of diseases including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and eye diseases such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.- NIH
By Karen Appold
Looking to boost your immunity this winter? Taking supplements dubbed antioxidants would be a wise decision. Think of antioxidants as the good guys—they work to rid your body of free radicals, the bad guys.
Bad guys vs. good guys
Free radicals are destructive molecules with unpaired electrons. This is an unusual arrangement because electrons come in pairs. Free radicals are the result of cell reactions, as well as exposure to tobacco smoke, pollution, radiation, and other harmful environmental factors. These bad guys can attack cellular components and cause diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and macular degeneration.
Antioxidants can come to your rescue by protecting cells and boosting and sustaining immune cell performance. They also render free radicals harmless by providing an extra electron to make a pair or break them down.
Why does this matter?
When cells thrive, your body’s immune system will function at its peak, making you less prone to get sick or succumb to degenerative diseases.
Colorful fruits and vegetables are great sources of antioxidants. But if you’re not getting enough of them for one reason or another, supplementation is a good idea.
Here’s the skinny on some antioxidants that are tops for immune health. As with any supplement or vitamin, be sure to consult a physician before adding any of these to your daily routine.
Vitamin C. This potent antioxidant protects against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, and eye disease. It works by increasing the production of white blood cells and antibodies. It also increases interferon, which coats cell surfaces, preventing viruses from penetrating……..
Source: Chiroeco & National Institute of Health (NIH)