Antioxidants are so power because they help fight against free radicals. Free radicals go around destroying other cells by oxidation, just like the browning of an apple.
The free radicals are caused by the metabolism, pollution, radiation, smoking, herbicides, stress, lack of exercise, lack of sleep and diet. Oxidative stress has been linked with arthritis, premature ageing, leg swelling, artery hardening, cancer susceptibility.
Antioxidants are critical for our survival without them oxidation would destroy our bodies. Antioxidants are the bodies defence mechanism for free radicals.
Where to find antioxidants? In fruits, vegetables, pulses and some supplements. Go for a full range of colours with your vegetables and fruits; traffic light system, taste the rainbow.
How do Antioxidants work?
1- our bodies contain billions of cells held together by electronic bonds. Sometimes these cells are help together by a weak bond and can split apart.
2- resulting in an unstable molecule with unpaired electrons. This is known as a free radical.
3- these free radicals will start attacking healthy near by cells in an attempt to replace their missing electron.
4- when the attacked molecule losses it electron is becomes a free radical itself, causing a chain reaction to occur damaging many cells. This is known as oxidative stress. It literally decays otherwise healthy cells.
5- antioxidants protect against oxidative stress. Antioxidants stop the chain reaction by donating one of their electrons to the free radicals. The great thing is antioxidants stay stable and do not become free radicals.