How do antioxidants, carotenoids and free radicals affect eye health? Better yet, what are antioxidants, carotenoids and free radicals?
Free radicals are the bad guys. They are atoms that lack a particle called an electron and because of this, they are very unstable. Free radicals will attack other cells as they try to “steal” an electron. This attack harms healthy cells and makes them a target for disease. Over time the effects of these attacks can be seen in the normal signs of aging. The appearance of wrinkles and ocular changes such as the development of cataracts and macular degeneration are part of this process.
Antioxidants are the good guys. They can neutralize free radicals by donating an electron to these unstable atoms. Once they are neutralized they will no longer attempt to damage healthy cells and become much less harmful to the body. While the body can produce some of its own antioxidants, it is also necessary to supplement antioxidant levels through nutrition.
We cannot speak about antioxidants without also mentioning carotenoids. Carotenoids are a type of natural pigment and they have potent antioxident properties. They give yellow, orange and red fruits and vegetables their color, but they’re also found in leafy green vegetables like spinach. Beta carotene, lutein, lycopene, gamma carotene and alpha carotene are all common carotenoids. They are packed full of healthful compounds that scientists are finding work together, or synergistically, to provide some pretty formidable protection against some of our most troublesome ailments such as: cardiovascular disease, infection, asthma, age related macular degeneration, high cholesterol, cancer, prostate and breast cancer and many others.
So, what is the best way to develop an antioxidant defense strategy?
Studies show that consuming at least 8-10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day is a great way to boost your level of antioxidants. You should make sure to include bright red, orange, yellow and dark green colored fruits and vegetables. Realistically, many people live lifestyles that do not include eating the necessary amounts of these foods to impact antioxidant levels in their bodies. The good news is that there are some high quality supplements available on the market that can help make up for this deficit.
The doctors at Uptown Eye Care are now equipped to assist you in evaluating your level of carotenoids. The BioPhotonic Scanner can measure your antioxidant score in a matter of seconds. This technology was featured on Dr. Oz’s anti-cancer show recently. Watch the segment below, or click here -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKpxWzAVcd8.
This information will equip you to make informed decisions about your eye health. Ask the Doctors at Uptown Eye Care about how you can be better equipped to protect your vision by monitoring your carotenoid levels.