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Health Benefits of Antioxidants

The Lowdown on Antioxidants

The dreaded winter season is upon us and with that we can look forward to days spent in bed recovering from colds and flu. At the end of the day, certain things are just inevitable, right? Wrong. There is a way to pump up your immune system and strengthen it against viruses that cause colds and flu.

Flu viruses are created from free radicals that circulate the air we breathe. In winter, when our immune system is at its weakest, they strike without warning leaving us with stuffy noses and aching bodies. The way our body neutralizes free radicals is with powerful antioxidants (vitamins E and C, selenium, beta-carotene and other carotenoids). These are mostly obtained from a diet consisting of a combination of five fruits and/or vegetables a day.

Now as many would know, it's not always possible to obtain the required antioxidants from the food we eat alone. At best, it's very difficult to eat all the foods you should be consuming daily to get enough of the essential vitamins your body needs. Not forgetting it's winter, which makes finding fruit and certain vegetables even scarcer.

This is where supplementation becomes your immune system's crutch to help you maintain a healthy body from the inside out. During winter we need to up our vitamin intake to ensure that we get in all the essential nutrients our body needs, keeping it in tiptop shape and ready to fight off the cold with a vengeance.

Apart from the usual vitamin E and C you should already be consuming, add CLA and L-Glutamine to the mix. Both are extremely powerful antioxidants that your immune system will be eternally grateful for.

According to Bill Phillips, founder of EAS and the Body-for-LIFE program, gram quantities of Vitamin C are essential (3-6 grams per day), selenium (100-200 mcg per day), beta-carotene (100-600 mg per day) and Vitamin E (500-100 IU per day).

About The Author
Dimi Deliyiannis is the founder and editor of GetFIT.co.za, a free online magazine with information on training, diet and nutrition. She regularly writes articles for top South African magazines, including: Fitness, Muscle Evolution and Women's Value. Visit her website on www.getfit.co.za.

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