What are the benefits of consuming antioxidants in a body that exercises 3-5 days a week? – Barley
By definition, antioxidants combat oxidation. While oxygen in our lungs is good, the chemical reaction of oxidation is bad in the wrong place – it releases free radicals. In metal, oxidation causes rusting. In our cells, oxidation causes tissue damage. In the blood vessels, oxidation causes fats to degrade, leading to plaque and inflammation.
While reducing disease risk and improving long-term health may not be primary goals, getting a diet high in the antioxidants Beta-carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, selenium and zinc translates into fueling an active body with nutrient rich foods for optimal performance. They come from deeply colored produce, nuts, seeds, whole grains, lean meats, seafood and milk.
Supplements may be warranted to fight oxidative stress caused by sustained intense exercise. Yes, the exercise that’s intended to make one more fit and strong can cause damage to the cells! This may not be the case with your level of exercise, but it’s certainly a concern for those training heavily on a daily basis.
– Debbie J., MS, RD
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