Vitamins provide many health benefits by improving the body’s overall functions. But there is a group of vitamins know as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect our cells from the negative effects of free radicals. Free radicals are the byproducts of our body’s metabolic process. These free radicals are harmful to our body as they damage cells, which further increase the chances of the body developing chronic diseases like cancer and other cardiovascular diseases.
The three major antioxidant vitamins are beta-carotene (converts to Vitamin A), vitamin C, and vitamin E. You’ll find them in colorful fruits and vegetables. This trio of vitamins provides many benefits to our bodies.
Let us start with beta carotene (also known as the Vitamin A), the old saying eat your carrots is on point! This fat soluble antioxidant is key to good eyesight, a strong immune system, clear skin, healthy hair, and overall good health. In addition, studies are underway to confirm if beta carotene is effective in preventing cardiovascular disease. Carrots, sweat potatoes, spinach, kale, cantaloupe and apricots are some of the fruits and vegetables that contain beta carotene
Scurvy anyone? The health benefits of Vitamin C are many and varied. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, easily absorbed by the body. The health benefits of Vitamin C include the prevention and treatment of scurvy, the common cold, improving the immune system, positive effects on blood pressure, treatment of lead toxicity, and improving skin elasticity, among many other benefits. Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruit, berries, kiwi and green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin E or Tocopherol as it is also known is a fat soluble vitamin often used in skin care for its anti-aging properties. Tocopherol also prevents cataracts by improving lens clarity. Studies are also underway to confirm if Tocopherol prevents and protects against heart diseases. Food rich in Tocopherol include almonds, swiss chard, mustard greens, spinach, kale, avocados, and plant oils like wheat germ.
These antioxidants are found in common fruits and vegetables but, if you tend to eat at strange times, or the same foods then a vitamin supplement will be beneficial.