Unexpected sources of antioxidants

Antioxidants have been making a lot of news in the last few years. By now many people know that foods like blueberries, spinach and nuts are good food sources of these important nutrients. However, there are several other food sources that people may be surprised to find can actually be healthy when consumed in moderation.

Coffee – Studies have found that the caffeine in this morning pick-me-up acts as a powerful antioxidant that may also support brain health. Good news for anyone who cannot start their day without a hot cup of java.

Red Wine – Those in the Mediterranean may be familiar with the heart health benefits of wine, which features Resveratrol, but it has taken science decades to discover that the polyphenols in the drink are effective at supporting a healthy inflamatory response in many tissues of the body.

Dark Chocolate – Go ahead and indulge. Studies have found that varieties that are particularly rich in cocoa are packed with a variety of healthful antioxidants. The sweet is still high in fat, and overeating is not recommended, but in moderation, dark chocolate can provide a health boost.

Evidence based formulas that include  ingredients  above include: CocoPlex, ResveraShots

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Cherry juice may help you fall asleep easier

Sufferers of occasional insomnia know that it can be a difficult condition to deal with. However, new research suggests that antioxidants in cherry juice may help lessen the effects of the condition, which may in turn support immune health.

A team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania examined the sleep habits of a group of older adults. They then gave the group of participants a cherry juice drink twice per day for a period of two weeks.

Study participants reported a significant reduction in sleeplessness severity. Additionally, the average time it took individuals to fall asleep at night was reduced by 17 percent.

“Tart cherries may help regulate the body’s natural sleep cycle and increase sleep efficiency, including decreasing the time it takes to fall asleep,” said Russell Reiter, who led the investigation. “And, because cherries are so rich in other antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, you get other important health benefits.”

Researchers speculated that these antioxidants, combined with healthier sleep patterns, may help support immune health. Individuals who get more sleep tend to be less prone to infection and illness.


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Resveratrol found to support brain health

A team of researchers from MIT has discovered that certain antioxidants – which have previously been shown to slow the aging process – may provide a high level of support for brain health.

They found that resveratrol, an antioxidant commonly in peanuts, grapes and red wine, may boost brain function and enable a greater degree of mental flexibility as individuals age.

Li-Huei Tsai, who led the investigation, said that many people experience a reduction in brain health as they grow older, which can put a strain on families and the healthcare system. However, antioxidants like resveratrol may be able to lessen this burden by helping seniors maintain healthy brain function in their advanced age.

“We have now found that [resveratrol] activity promotes plasticity and memory,” said Tsai. “This result demonstrates a multi-faceted role it in the brain, further highlighting its potential as a target for the treatment of neurodegeneration and conditions with impaired cognition.”

Resveratrol has previously been touted for its ability to stave off cell damage, lessening the impact of aging on many individuals.

Evidence-based formulas that contain Resveratrol include: Resverashots and Co-Q-Max Daily with Resveratrol


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Unraveling the mystery of antioxidants

There has been a lot of talk lately about the importance of antioxidants. Various studies have shown them to support heart health and give a boost to the immune system. However, many individuals may be confused about exactly what this group of nutrients includes.

The confusion is understandable. The U.S. Library of Medicine simply defines antioxidants as substances that may protect cells against the effects of free radicals – harmful molecules that are produced when the body breaks down food.

This certainly makes the nutrients sound like a healthful option, but where do they come from? Vancouver-based antioxidant expert Mairlyn Smith told the National Post that the term antioxidants may refer to any number of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals.

“The bottom line is they are in anything that was once a plant, because antioxidants are essentially a plant’s defense mechanisms,” she told the news source, adding that the term may refer to a number of different types of nutrients.

Good food sources of antioxidants include kale, carrots, beans, blueberries and apples. They may also be available in the form of nutritional supplements.

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Chocolate may help reduce stress

Antioxidants in chocloate may help reduce stress

Chocolate has always been known as a comfort food. Many people turn to the sweet when they are feeling low or stressed out. While the appealing taste gets most of the credit for this comforting effect, a new study has found that antioxidants in the confection may be more responsible.

The research, which was published in the Journal of Proteome Research, found that antioxidants in chocolate reduce the presence of a stress hormone in people who reported feeling significant pressure.

Sunil Kochlar, who led the investigation, said that stress is a major contributor to poor heart health and many other dangerous, chronic conditions, and that eliminating any amount of emotional stress may help individuals lead healthier lives.

“The study provides strong evidence that a daily consumption of 1.4 ounces during a period of two weeks is sufficient to modify the metabolism of healthy human volunteers,” she said.

The study cautioned that excessive chocolate consumption may be dangerous and could contribute to poor health. However, when eaten in moderation, the sweet may help reduce stress.

CocoPlex is a great tasting, flavanol rich formula designed to support memory, focus and cognitive function as well as cardiovascular and circulatory health .*


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Tea consumption may support heart health

Heavy tea drinkers may not need to worry about reaching for their next cup, as a new study has found that moderate to high consumption of the drink may help support heart health.

The research, which was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that drinking six or more cups of tea each day reduced the risk of developing heart conditions by 36 percent compared to drinking less than one cup per day.

Lead investigator Yvonne van der Schouw said that both black and green tea are rich in antioxidants which have been shown by previous studies to help support heart health and as lower the risk of a range of other chronic conditions.

Questionnaires were used to evaluate tea consumption among 37,514 individuals. Researchers then tracked their medical records for 13 years, looking for instances of cardiovascular diseases.

Coffee was also associated with a lower risk of heart problems, but the link was not as strong as with tea. Van der Schouw suggested that coffee drinkers often have less healthy lifestyles which can include smoking. This may negate some of the benefits from antioxidants in the drink.

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Chocolate helps support heart health

Antioxidants in chocolate help support heart health

Cocoa products are known to be a good source of heart healthy antioxidants, and a new study has found that these nutrients may help individuals reduce their risk of developing a heart condition.

Researchers from the University of California at San Francisco examined the health effects of a cocoa drink containing 375 mg of flavanols, antioxidants that are abundant in chocolate, as well as many fruits and vegetables.

They found that study participants who had the highest intake of the nutrient were able to increase their body’s ability to make repairs to its circulatory system. This supported overall heart function.

Yerem Yeghiazarians, who led the investigation, said that the results could point to improved treatments for patients with heart conditions by using more natural compounds rather than chemicals that often have harsh side effects.

“This is exciting data,” Yeghiazarians said. “Our findings demonstrate that improvement in blood pressure can be achieved by complementing standard treatment with a flavanol-rich diet. The 80 million Americans impacted by heart disease may be glad to hear this.”


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Study finds link between antioxidants and brain health

Link established between antioxidants and brain health, study finds

A new study has found that antioxidants may help support brain health in individuals as they grow older, providing further evidence that the nutrients may be an important part of healthy aging.

Researchers tested the effects of drinking blueberry juice with high levels of antioxidants on the memory of patients in their 70s. They found that those who drank the nutrient-rich drink scored better on memory and learning tests than a control group that did not drink blueberry juice.

Robert Krikorian, who led the investigation, said that previous research had studied the effect of such nutrients on test animals, but little had been studied about their impact on human brain function.

“These preliminary memory findings are encouraging and suggest that consistent supplementation with blueberries may offer an approach to forestall or mitigate [cognitive decline],” he wrote in the report that was published in the Journal Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

The report added that further clinical trials should be conducted to determine the exact degree to which supplementing diets with antioxidants can support brain health.


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