With all the talk these days of an overhauled health care plan, personal health and wellness are becoming more and more important to the average person. Instead of waiting until it’s too late to take care of your body, why not start right now with the simple addition of antioxidants to your daily nutrition plan?

A variety of external factors can have a dramatic effect on your overall health. Many of us live a hectic lifestyle, fail to eat properly, or participate in unhealthy activities. Your daily routines, which you are so accustomed to, may be hurting you and you’re not even aware of it.

· Stress from your job
· Money woes
· Sitting in traffic jams
· Fast food
· Not eating enough healthy food
· Neglecting a simple daily vitamin
· Smoking
· Drinking too much alcohol
· Not getting enough sleep

Any one of the above factors has a hand in releasing toxins into your body called “free radicals.” Free radicals are very unstable molecules that cause damage to your body on a cellular level. These free radicals, in order to become stable, steal an electron from the nearest molecule. This molecule then becomes a free radical itself, setting off a chain reaction.

Even the process of energy production releases free radicals. Our bodies turn oxygen into energy, known as oxidation, and a by-product of this process are free radical toxins. If antioxidants are not present or insufficient, excessive free radical damage can occur. To make matters worse, free radical damage accumulates over time.

So how is it that antioxidants can end this chain reaction of internal damage?

Antioxidants can donate an electron to a free radical just as any other molecule can. The difference is, an antioxidant is stable with or without this electron, thus ending the chain reaction.

Some of the benefits of antioxidant supplements are:

· Keeping bones strong
· Joints and connective tissue remain lubricated and flexible
· Internal organs function more efficiently
· Immune system remains stronger
· Anti aging effects
· Increased cardiovascular health

You don’t need to go looking for some super-advanced medicine to obtain these highly beneficial nutrients. They can be purchased over the counter or from the convenience of your own home. You may even be taking them already. I won’t go through the entire list of antioxidants, but there is an abundance of them out there, each with it’s own additional benefits for your health and wellness. Many people already know that vitamins C and E are on this list, but here are just a few more.

· Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
· Beta Carotene
· Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
· Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
· Ginkgo Biloba
· Ginseng
· Green Tea
· Lycopene
· Pycnogenol
· Quercetin
· Selenium
· Zinc

What each of these nutrients does specifically is beyond the scope of this article, but you can see how easy it is to find an antioxidant vitamin. Many of these antioxidant nutrients are found in multivitamin supplements, as well as individually. However, as stated previously, if they are not in sufficient quantity they cannot effectively combat the free radical effects.

Taking care of yourself begins on the inside at a cellular level. As much time and effort as we spend on keeping our exterior looking good, why not make a small but important investment on our interior. The simple addition of antioxidants has the power to keep you looking and feeling your best, with little effort on your part.

Author's Bio: 

Tim Mielke
Competitive Bodybuilder and Author

Tim Mielke has been involved in the supplement industry for over 15 years. As a former competitive body builder and personal trainer, Tim has extensive first-hand knowledge of the benefits and pitfalls of fitness supplementation. Knowledge so extensive, in fact, that his book, “The Book of Supplement Secrets: A Beginners Guide to Nutritional Supplements,” was recently published and is currently available through Amazon.com. Tim brings this supplement and bodybuilding know-how to www.i-supplements.com as a contributing author and researcher.