The power of antioxidants are well known. According to numerous published research studies, antioxidants help the body to fight free radicals, slow the aging process and even help combat condition specific health issues including sore muscles and achy joints.
So What are Antioxidants?
Every day the cells in our bodies are constantly being attacked and damaged by free radicals. Free radicals are a by-product of metabolism and occur naturally in the body. In addition, exposure to pollutants, sun light or other environmental exposures also contribute to cell damage.
What are Free Radicals?
Free radicals are unstable molecules that have lost an oxygen molecule. These unstable molecules steal oxygen molecules from healthy cells in the body. This process is called oxidation. One example of the oxidation affects of free radicals on healthy cells is the browning of a freshly cut apple or potato.
If you have ever cut an apple or a potato and let it set on the kitchen counter for 20 minutes you have witnessed the affects of free radicals on healthy cells. The browning of the exposed fruit is what is called “cellular rust” or oxidation. Damage from free-radicals have been linked to a whole host of disease including Alzheimers, cardio-vascular disease and more.
Where do we get Antioxidants and How do we Measure them?
Fruits and vegetables are the biggest source of dietary antioxidants. Fruits like blueberries, strawberries, wild blueberries, tart cherry juice, pomegranates, Acai and Goji berries are excellent sources of powerful antioxidants. To get a proper daily serving of antioxidants, it is recommended to get 5 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
ORAC is the standard measurement of the total antioxidant power of food. ORAC is short for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. Nutritionist recommended we consume approximately 5000 ORAC units per day to offset the damaging effects of free radicals. However with today’s hectic lifestyles and time-crunched schedules getting even one serving a fresh fruit or vegetables into your diet can be a challenge.
Condition Specific Antioxidant-Rich Solutions:
Did you know that each fruit offers condition specific health benefits? This means, while fruit offers a whole host of antioxidants to support a health body, each fruit also offers specific health benefits. For example, the cranberry helps with urinary tract infections, bananas offer an energy boost, blueberries help with brain health and the tart cherry helps relieve sore muscles and achy joints?
Depending on your specific needs, you may decide what fruit is best for your individual situation. For example, based upon research from Michigan State University the tart cherry is a natural source of Anthocyanins. This antioxidant is a natural anti-inflammatory compound that can help with achy joints.
In addition, University of Vermont conducted a study on a tart cherry juice blend and muscle soreness. The participants of the study that drink cherry juice blend reported less muscles soreness than those who drank the placebo. So if you suffer from achy joints or sore muscles, consider adding some tart cherry to your daily diet.
A Hassle-Free Way to Get Antioxidants into Your Diet
Here are 4 simple ways to incorporate antioxidant rich fruit and vegetables into your day diet.
– Fresh Fruit: Apples and grapes make for quick and healthy snacks. In addition, you can take them with you. However, due to deployment location or extreme weather, enjoying fresh fruit on a daily basis may not be realistic.
– Super Fruit Juice Concentrates: Fruit juice concentrates make an excellent alternative to a can of soda. For example, tart cherry juice concentrate delivers over 3,500 ORAC units per one ounce. It takes approximately 100 tart cherries to make one ounce of tart cherry juice concentrate. When purchasing fruit juice concentrates, make sure they are 100% juice and not loaded with additional sugars or mixed with other ingredients.
– Dried Super Fruits: In addition to making a tasty addition to your breakfast, a handful of dried super fruits make a healthy snack. Here is what a Robert H. stationed in Iraq had to say about the Fruit Advantage dried cherries:
“Your dried cherries are an absolute life saver here
SPC Robert H. – APO, AE 09342
– Super Fruit Supplements: If you are looking for the most convenient way of getting the natural health benefits of fruit consider super fruit supplements. Super fruit supplements are made from the whole fruit including the skin and the pulp of the fruit into an easy-to-swallow capsule.
“My Mom told me about your cherry capsules when I was back home and I brought back some bottles with me to Iraq. Since taking them my legs don’t ache any more. I need more since everyone is begging me for them.” PFC Ray C. APO, AE 09323
For example, one daily serving of Fruit Advantage Tart Cherry capsules equals the specific antioxidant power of 5 glasses of tart cherry juice concentrate. This makes super fruit supplements an ideal choice for anyone wanting to get satisfy the daily antioxidant intake requirement.