Unleashing the Power of Antioxidants for a Longer Life

By Eva Selhub, MD Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Clinical Associate in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital Author of The Love Response and Your Brain on Nature

Posted on | By Eva Selhub, MD | Comments ()

If you are interested in powerful anti-aging, feeling and looking young and healthy, there are thousands of natural molecules that can help you get there. They're called antioxidants.

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A good way to understand what antioxidants are and why we need them is to think of the human aging process as being similar to an aging car: Over its lifespan, it will be driven over rough terrain, be exposed to rain, strong rays from the sun and possibly snow. Without regular maintenance and tender loving care, the aging car can be prone to rust as a result of a process called oxidation.

Oxidation also occurs in the aging and stressed human body. In this case, oxygen molecules that are missing an electron (free oxygen radicals) fly about looking for something to fill in the missing gap and end up causing sparks to fly, general mayhem and the aging human body to rust! Oxidative stress has been linked to a myriad of health problems, including cancer, heart disease, dementia and autoimmune disorders.

The good news is that antioxidants are like scavengers: perusing your body to find, neutralize and get rid of these free oxygen radicals. Research shows these wonderful molecules can not only prevent and treat a whole array of health problems, they may also extend your life. 

Antioxidants can help with heart disease, weight management, inflammation, high blood pressure, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases like dementia, high cholesterol, eye health and diabetes. Additionally, these molecules can also act as stress busters. The following are a few antioxidants you may not have heard of, which you can find in the everyday foods you may already love.

Eva Selhub, MD

Article written by Eva Selhub, MD
Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Clinical Associate in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital Author of The Love Response and Your Brain on Nature