Stress and Antioxidants - A Great Combination

Posted by administrator Thursday, January 8, 2009

What does a volatile stock market, high unemployment rates, an unstable economy and increased stress at home have to do with antioxidants? The answer may surprise you. The answer is it has everything to do with it. The truth of the matter is the more stress you have in your life, the more antioxidants your body needs to cope with everyday stress.

Antioxidants help slow the aging process and even help reduce inflammation in the body. So what exactly are antioxidants how do they help to reduce stress in the body?

What is an Antioxidant?
Antioxidants are defined at "various substances that inhibit oxidation in the body. These various substances include beta-carotene, vitamin C, Anthocyanins, alpha-tocopherol, vitamin E and more. Antioxidants inhibit oxidation promoted by oxygen and peroxides and help to protect the body from the effects from the onslaught of free radicals. In other words, antioxidants deactivate free radicals in the body. Thousands of studies have repeatedly shown that maintaining high levels of antioxidants helps to reduce a person's risk for disease, stimulates the immune systems and may even slow the aging process. So by taking in more antioxidants during stressful time is vital to offset what the work throws at you.

So what is a free radical?
Free radicals are unstable molecules that have lost an oxygen molecule and they replace this lost component from other sources. In fact, these unstable molecules actually steal oxygen molecules from healthy cells. This is something your body doesn't need, especially during high-stress times. An excellent example of the affects of free radicals is the browning of a freshly cut apple or potato.

The next time you cut an apple or a potato is half, let it set on the counter for 20 minutes. You will notice the exposed fruit will start to turn brown. This is what is called "cellular rust" and this is what is similar to what free radicals do to the healthy cells in your body. That is why it is vital to eat a healthy diet and food that are high in antioxidant values. A popular way to measure antioxidant value in foods is to measure the ORAC value.

ORAC or Oxygen Radical Absorption Capability measures the total antioxidant value of different foods. This value gives an indication how many free radicals a specific food can help the body to absorb. The more free radicals a food can deactivate the higher its ORAC value score. So the higher the score, the better the food is in helping the body to stay healthy.

Nutrition experts estimate that the body needs a daily consumption of 3,000 to 5,000 ORAC units to reach significant oxygen capacity in the blood and realize the health benefits of ORAC in food.
A High ORAC Food

Although many foods offer high ORAC values, one food you may want to consider adding to your diet of high ORAC foods is the tart cherry. The reason is the tart cherry not only delivers very good ORAC amounts but it also offers a whole variety of other healthy benefits including reducing arthritis pain, reducing gout pain and reducing muscle soreness due to physical exercise.

Here is an overview of the different ORAC values from different tart cherry products: ¼ of dried tart cherries delivers 3,060 ORAC units and 1 oz of Traverse Bay Farms tart cherry juice concentrate delivers over 7,000 ORAC units. Both of these are within the daily ORAC dosage range to receive the benefits of free radicals fighting foods. In addition, to the dried fruit and tart cherry juice concentrate, tart cherries are also available in dietary supplement. Tart cherry capsules are an excellent way to get the antioxidant power of the tart cherry in an easy-swallow capsule.

About Author

Ms. Jackson is a natural health writer. She specializes in natural remedies. Make sure to download a free copy of the Super Fruit Handbook at To learn more about tart cherries and gout visit

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  2. Anonymous Says:
  3. I have been using tart cherries for my arthritis for the past six months. I learned about them from my doctor. I recently discovered a free tart cherry book that tells how tart cherries can help with arthritis. It is a good book and best of all it is free. It is called Tart Cherry Health Report. Here is a link if you are interested:

  4. Jason B Says:
  5. The economy definitely does have an effect on our ability to get the proper nutritional needs met. Eating for stress can be beneficial, if approached from the right methodology.
    "If you want to boost your health and cut your health care costs, then it is best that you take the required Health Supplements. These supplements are not that expensive at all and you can go a long way in helping your body get the nutrition that you need."


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