Monday, July 21, 2008

Antioxidants and Free Radicals

A couple of months ago (April 28, 2008), I wrote about the benefits of the MonaVie Juice. Today I want to focus more on the benefits of antioxidants.

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are substances or nutrients in our foods which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body. Antioxidants are chemical compounds that can bind to free oxygen radicals preventing these radicals from damaging healthy cells.

Antioxidants are present in foods as vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and polyphenols, among others. Many antioxidants are often identified in food by their distinctive colors—the deep red of cherries and of tomatoes; the orange of carrots; the yellow of corn, mangos, and saffron; and the blue-purple of blueberries, blackberries, and grapes.

Traditionally the blueberry along with many other berries were conciderate to have the highest antioxidant content. Then they discovered the acai berry. Antioxidants are messured by their ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) levels:
Foods (ORAC Units per 1 gram)
1. Acai berry 3,800
2. Mangosteen 3,000
3. Cocoa Powder 809
4. Goji Berry 253 5
5. Dark Chocolate 208
6. Pecans 179
7. Elderberry 147
8. Walnuts 135
9. Pomegranate 105 1
10. Cranberries 95.8
According to: Lisa M. Davis, Ph.D., PA-C, C.N.S., L.D.N. the acai berry has the hightest ORAC content.

What are Free Radicals?
Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons and can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. Once formed these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction, like dominoes. Their chief danger comes from the damage they can do when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane. Cells may function poorly or die if this occurs. To prevent free radical damage the body has a defense system of antioxidants.

Oxygen is needed for the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates for energy. However, exceed oxygen molecules and other free radicals that form as by-products of normal cellular reactions can cause damage to cells if not inactivated. The body has a complex antioxidant defense system to neutralize radicals and prevent cell damage and disease. Aging and chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, are currently believed to result from damage caused by free radicals.

It is suggested that we consume 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. To support a healthy lifestyle, it is necessary to eat even more. The MonaVie juice is a healthy addition for an active life. Only 1-2 ounces in the morning and at night gives us full benefits.
To learn more about the MonaVie juice, please visit my website at:

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