New research questions whether too much of a good thing can actually damage your health
Nutritionists are adamant that they should be a staple part of everyone’s diet, but now scientists say it’s possible to eat too many superfoods and overdose on antioxidants.
From lentils to blueberries, almonds to broccoli, health experts can’t sing their praises enough. They’ve been credited for lengthening a person’s life by cutting heart disease and cancer, and have even been linked to boosting sex drive.
But now researchers say too many superfoods could mean there are not enough ‘pro-oxidants’ in the body, needed to create a delicate balance of nutrients.
Antioxidants slow down the damage done to muscles and other organs, whereas the pro-oxidants speed it up.
Too many antioxidants can tip this careful balance and make it harder for the elderly to breathe and impair muscle function.
Steven Copp, who took part in the research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, says: ‘People don’t realise that the antioxidant and pro-oxidant balance is really delicate.
‘You can’t just give a larger dose of antioxidants and presume that there will be some sort of beneficial effect. In fact you can actually make the problem worse.
‘Before we recommend people getting ore antioxidants, we need to understand more about how they function in physiological systems and circumstance like exercise.’
So how do we know what we should be eating? And more significantly, how much of each? The answer, according to Copp, is to eat according to what your sense of taste and appetite tells you.