By Peter Martin

A large number of medical doctors are advocating fruits and veggies to be included in a daily diet plan. There are a lot of great reasons to the recommendation; however one of the reasons would be the antioxidants that almost all fruit and veggies supply. However just what are antioxidants? What makes them so important?

Oxidation process happens in every single place from piece of fruit turning brownish color to rust on a metal pipe. It is a natural process that also occurs in a human body. Our body system controls oxidation well, but sometimes it causes cell damage. The damaged cells are known as free radicals. Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electron. Because it is unpaired, it will try to steal an electron from other molecules. Once this effect gets extreme, it may cause various health problems such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and arthritis. Pollution, radiation and cigarette smoke add up to the development of free radicals as well. Antioxidants are substances that counteract free radicals.

By supplying the missing electron to free radicals, antioxidants protect against cell damage. It is recommended to have foods and nutrients that come with antioxidants regularly to stay healthy. Lots of vegetables and fruits are a fantastic supply of antioxidants thanks to vitamins E and C. Vitamins are known to be among the best antioxidants. Fruits and veggies such as strawberry, kiwi, papaya, spinach, bell pepper, and broccoli are a good supply of vitamin C and E. But these vitamins are not the only source of antioxidants and in fact they are certainly not the best source.

More and more dieticians agree with the fact that Epigallocatechin or generally known as EGCG may be a better supply of antioxidants compared to vitamins E and C. Most researchers agree that EGCG is 100 times more efficient than vitamin C and 25 times more beneficial compared to vitamin E in neutralizing free radicals. EGCG is a compound contained in tea. Many of the acknowledged green tea extract positive effects include preventions against depression, heart disease, cancer, weight gain and bad cholesterol.

There were many laboratory tests concerning the effects of green tea on cancer cells. The results suggest the usage of 300mg of EGCG on a daily basis to be the best amount. One cup of tea offers about 100mg of EGCG. Much more experiments are on the way, but for right now 3 cups every day looks like a good amount.

Currently there are multiple ways to consume green tea. Traditional way is to make and to drink the hot tea. This is good way especially if consumed while having a meal. One other preferred way is to add green tea extract powder to vitamin water. Mixing citrus juice with EGCG has been identified to multiply the health rewards. A practical way is to have green tea capsules. This is good for individuals not liking the flavor.

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