Antioxidants are produced naturally in our bodies and are derived from the food we eat. Antioxidants have major significance to your overall health in terms of fighting free radicals. You cannot ignore this very significant issue when it comes to antioxidants and your health. Without sufficient antioxidants, your body becomes a target for many adverse health consequences. Antioxidants are essential to healthy living.
Free radicals form in our bodies as we metabolize (process) food and during other natural body functions. Also, they are created from exposure to the sun, pollutants found in the air, eating processed foods, smoking, and much more. They are also caused by stress.
When athletes are exercising, they are doing so to gain a health advantage. But, the additional stress they put on their bodies actually creates more free radicals. This seems contradictory but it is a fact.
THE TECHNICAL EXPLANATION OF FREE RADICALS
Free radicals are made up of atoms that have one or more electrons that make them unstable. What a free radical does is move throughout your body seeking to bind with another electron. The result is damage to all parts of your body ranging from the collagen layers of your skin, DNA, blood vessels, organs, tissues, and more. Can you begin to see the health consequences here?
Largely, antioxidants come from the foods we eat. If you are healthy your body can manufacture some antioxidants like SOD and Gluthothione. However, it is essential to add an antioxidant supplement to aid your body in providing sufficient amounts of antioxidant power against free radicals.
OUR BODY’S NATURAL DEFENSE MECHANISM
Both plant life and animals have a complicated system of multiple antioxidants. A list might include: Gluthothione, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and enzymes such as catalase, superoxide dismutase, and several forms of peroxidases.
If you have lower levels of antioxidants or low antioxidant enzymes, you develop oxidative stress. This is what destroys or damages cells. Oxidative stress has been implicated in the development of major diseases.
Supplementing your diet with Acai provides you with a huge arsenal of antioxidants to fight back against free radicals and to gain many other health advantages as you do.
ACAI - THE MOST POWERFUL SOURCE OF ANTHOCYANINS
In testing, Acai is found to contain the most potent and powerful source of anthocyanins (flavonoids) in the world (See this comparison). The most prominent anthocyanin in Acai is Cyanin-3-glucoside, which in other studies has been found to help protect you from neurological diseases.
Acai is also noted for its healthy fat content as well as its fiber and phytosterols to promote a healthier cardiovascular system and digestive tract. In addition, Acai has what is described as a “nearly perfect combination of essential fatty acids (EFAs) as well as important trace minerals which are essential to muscle contraction and muscle regeneration."
Acai has a fatty acid complex that is very similar to olive oil which has been found to be a leading factor in the lower incidence of heart disease in Mediterranean populations.
OXIDATIVE STRESS AND DISEASES
It is thought that oxidative stress contributes to a wide range of diseases and it is a long list: Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, neurodegeneration, and rheumatoid arthritis are just a few. One link associated with oxidative stress, and is felt to be well established, is the role that oxidative stress plays in cardiovascular disease. After all, the ultimate victim of oxidative stress is your heart.
Low density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol) oxidation triggers atherogenesis, which in turn becomes artherosclerosis and ultimately, cardiovascular disease develops.