The Power of Antioxidants

antioxidantThe people who want to see you achieve better health have long recommended antioxidants be a major part of your diet. There’s only one catch. The people who want to see you become healthier are largely not the same ones trying to sell you antioxidant stuffed supplements.

Those who promote good health have long recommended you eat fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. These people don’t own fruit farms or sell the actual product they are recommending. They are largely doctors and others associated with a group called health professionals. They are recommending you eat things filled with lots of antioxidants.

On the other hand, the people who want you to purchase supplements filled with antioxidants are the same people who are producing and selling that particular product. They have a vested interest in you purchasing their supplements because it enriches them.
“Well, Tom,” you might say. “What’s the difference? They are both promoting antioxidants.”

There is a big difference and it’s exactly what common sense predicts. Antioxidant supplements have a proven track record of not doing anything to help and actually causing harm. A number of studies of people who flooded their bodies with antioxidant supplements showed an increased mortality rate!

Antioxidants from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains do your body all sorts of good. Eating such a diet combined with regular exercise will statistically increase the quality and length of your life. You are less likely to have heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and a host of other medical issues if you pursue such a diet.

The problem is that most people don’t want to eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains each and every day. They don’t want to spend time buying such healthy foods. They would prefer to make an unjustifiably expensive purchase for a particular supplement and simply take the pill once a day. It’s so much easier of a way to good health. The problem is that it doesn’t work.

One of the most difficult things in life is sustaining consistent behavior. If you want to be healthy, you must eat properly most of the time. That’s not to say there is anything wrong with dessert or an unhealthy meal once a week, but the reality is good health requires good habits. While true, that is somewhat tangential to the point I’m trying to make today.

Beware of people trying to sell you things. If someone tells you a particular product is going to make your life better, take a moment to find out about the person doing the talking. If they don’t have anything to do what is being sold it’s more likely you’re getting good advice. The converse is true as well. It’s not really rocket science.

I think most people are aware of this instinctively. It seems as if there is no need to tell people to be aware of the problem and yet the supplement industry rolls on to the tune of billions of dollars. People purchase antioxidant supplements and convince themselves they are doing what is healthy when, to some degree, they must be aware they are not.

In the end, it’s your decision. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains or supplements. Now, pass me a Fuji Apple, I’m hungry!

Tom Liberman

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