What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals in your body.
Free radicals are compounds that can cause harm if their levels become too high in your body. They’re linked to multiple illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Your body has its antioxidant defenses to keep free radicals in check.
However, antioxidants are also found in food, especially fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based, whole foods. Several vitamins, such as vitamins E and C, are effective antioxidants.
Antioxidant preservatives also play a crucial role in food production by increasing shelf life.
Antioxidants are molecules that neutralize free radicals, unstable molecules that can harm your cells.
How free radicals function
Free radicals are constantly being formed in your body.
Free radicals would cause serious harm without antioxidants very quickly, eventually resulting in death.
However, free radicals also serve important functions that are essential for health.
For example, your immune cells use free radicals to fight infections
As a result, your body needs to maintain a certain balance of free radicals and antioxidants.
When this equilibrium is disrupted, it can lead to oxidative stress.
Your body needs to maintain a certain balance between free radicals and antioxidants. When this equilibrium is disrupted, it can lead to oxidative stress.
Antioxidants in foods
Antioxidants are essential for the survival of all living things.
Your body generates its antioxidants, such as the cellular antioxidant glutathione.
Plants, animals, and all other life forms defend against free radicals and oxidative damage.
Therefore, antioxidants are found in all whole foods of plant and animal origin.
Adequate antioxidant intake is essential. Your life depends on the information of certain antioxidants — namely, vitamins C and E.
However, many other non-essential antioxidants occur in food. While they’re unnecessary for your body, they play an essential role in general health.
The health benefits associated with a diet rich in plants are at least partially due to the variety of antioxidants they provide
Berries, green tea, coffee, and dark chocolate are renowned for being good sources of antioxidants.
Meat products and fish also contain antioxidants, but to a lesser extent than fruits and vegetables.
Your diet is an essential source of antioxidants, which are found in animal and plant foods — especially vegetables, fruits, and berries.