Antioxidants: What are they?

The enemy: Free Radicals

Free radicals are the by-products of a normal and necessary event- the burning of oxygen by cells in your body to produce energy. These by-products are damaged molecules. They are missing an electron, and they ‘want’ one badly…badly enough to attack any nearby molecule get it. If they take electrons from important components in your body, such as DNA (your body’s master plan for reproducing cells) or from protein or fat, they do damage to those cells and precipitate health problems. Not only that, when a free radical reacts with a non-radical, a free radical chain reaction results and new free radicals are formed, compounding the problem. Over time, the cumulative effects of free radicals can contribute to premature aging and certain diseases such as artery and heart disease, arthritis, cataracts, and cancer. Free radicals can also be caused by environmental factors such as pollution, smoking, and ultraviolet light.

The hero: Antioxidants

Antioxidants are a are a group of compounds that act as free radical scavengers, donating electrons and neutralizing free radicals thus preventing their destruction to other cells. Certain vitamins and many phytonutrients appear to play an important role in helping to neutralize free radicals. These phytonutrients and vitamins go around taking out the free radicals, converting them to harmless waste products that get eliminated from your body before they can do damage. Some may even repair damage done by previous encounters with free radicals. . To fill your army with the necessary anti-oxidants, eat foods loaded with those nutrients….colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

Recruiting the Antioxidants:

Because the long-term effects of taking anti-oxidant supplements is still unknown, the proof of their benefit is still not proven clinically, and because the right dose is just an educated guess, the safest, surest way to fill your army is with a diet that contains plenty of foods rich in antioxidants…. fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables. Kidz Superfoods uses the whole food to make sure kids are getting nature’s intended amount and mix of health promoting phytochemicals.

Measuring Antioxidant Power

One way to determine the anti-oxidant power of foods is via their ORAC score, which stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. It is a lab test score that measures anti-oxidant potential. The brightest, most colorful foods have the highest ORAC score and includes blueberries, strawberries, plums, spinach, broccoli and beets. Because Kidz Superfood combines a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, the ORAC of one glassful is equivalent to three servings of fruits and vegetables.


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