Antioxidants surround our cells and protect them from Free Radicals. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules. Our body creates free radicals while turning our fuel into energy so it produces antioxidants to clean up after itself. In a perfect world, this would keep us healthy. Unfortunately, pollutants such as cigarette smoke or many other offending pollutants often surround us. The safest and best know supplemental antioxidants are vitamin C and vitamin E.
Eating lots of Vitamin C in your Diet will help protect your arteries, heart, and eyes. Broccoli and red bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C, but there are many more. Oranges, strawberries, cabbage, and potatoes are all also very good sources. The National Institute of Health recommends 500 milligrams twice daily along with a variety of foods rich in vitamin C. For smokers it takes 20 milligrams of vitamin C to help squelch the effects of one cigarette.
Vitamin E helps your body’s bad cholesterol (LDL) from oxidizing. When bad cholesterol oxidizes, it contributes to arteriosclerosis. Some studies have shown a high intake of Vitamin E lowers the possibility of heart disease.
Vitamin E is found in sunflower seeds, vegetable oils, and sweet potatoes but it is hard to get the recommended amount of it in just the diet. To get maximum protection it is recommended you take supplements of 200-400 IU daily.
Vitamin C and Vitamin E should be taken together because vitamin C revitalizes the vitamin E when it needs it. Clinical studies have suggested 400 IU daily of vitamin E and 500 milligrams of vitamin C should be taken twice a day for 1000 mg to help build up our antioxidants and protect our bodies from free radicals.