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Most Common Myths About Antioxidants Busted
Myth 2: Antioxidants are all the same thing
This is totally wrong and probably a source of confusion for many people. There are actually thousands of different compounds, including vitamins you’re already familiar with, which can be classified as an antioxidant. Vitamin C, which strengthens your immune system, is considered an antioxidant. There are also the flavonoids found in berries, vitamin E, and polyphenols. All of these are antioxidants, but all of them are quite different, and benefit your health in different ways in addition to stopping free radical damage. Getting lots of one kind of antioxidant will not compensate for a deficiency of another.
The solution? Eat a balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. This will cover a lot of nutritional ground and ensure that you get a wide range of antioxidants in their naturally occurring form, which is a nice segue to the next misconception.
Myth 3: Fortifying Food with Antioxidants Makes Them Healthier
While it is scientifically possible to add antioxidant molecules to foods where they don’t naturally occur, it is not nearly as beneficial as eating foods which are naturally rich in them. Plus, adding antioxidants to a food that is unhealthy is not going to somehow negate those qualities. Adding antioxidants to ice cream or candy will not cancel out all the sugar.
Many food manufacturers and brands will emphasize the antioxidants in their marketing to make their products seem healthier than they really are. Don’t let it fool you.
The bottom line? Antioxidants are good for you, but they have become overhyped. Eat healthy and educate yourself about the true nature of antioxidants or any other kind of nutrients that suddenly seems to become a trend.