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UNDERSTANDING ANTIOXIDANTS





Prior and his colleagues used the most advanced technologies available to tabulate antioxidant levels in more than 100 different types of berry fruits, vegetables, nuts, and spices. The Top 20 list includes small red beans (dried), wild blueberry, red kidney beans, pinto beans, blueberry (cultivated), cranberry, artichokes (cooked), blackberry, prunes (dried plums), raspberry, strawberry, red delicious apples, Granny Smith apples, pecans, sweet cherries, black plums, russet potatoes (cooked), black beans (dried), plums, and gala apples. 

Antioxidants are believed to play an important role in preventing the development of such chronic illnesses as heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, and cataracts. Although antioxidants cannot completely rid our bodies of free radicals, they can however work to retard or minimize the damage caused. 

Because atoms seek to reach a state of maximum stability, an atom will try to fill its shell with electrons by: Gaining or losing electrons to either fill or empty its outer shell Sharing its electrons by bonding together with other atoms in order to complete its outer shell Free Radicals: The Formation The free radicals are formed when weak bonds between atoms are split. 

For the other study, Engeseth worked with yet another colleague, Nele Gheldof, a doctoral student in the department of food science and human nutrition. They measured the dietary antioxidant and phenolic contents in honey taken from sevel floral sources, such as acacia, buckwheat, clover, firewood, Hawaiian Christmas berry, soybean, and tupelo. 

According to scientific studies, one of the most significant factors contributing to the aging process is chronic inflammation. These are the identifiable inflammatory diseases which the body develops as we age. Chronic inflammation leads to damage in the cells of our brain, heart, arterial walls, and other body structures which are attributed as the cause of such illnesses as heart disease, Alzheimer's, senility, Parkinson's, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, prostatitis, stroke, and a few other diseases brought by aging. 

The result is a chain reaction which can only be stopped with the entrance of antioxidants. Herbal antioxidants are the body's natural defenses against harmful radicals. Their function is to stop free radicals from "attacking" other healthy molecules and causing a chain reaction. Because of this function, herbal antioxidants are said to play a role in the prevention and potential cure of various degenerative diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, and several others.