If you say that antioxidants are antidotes to the intimidating damages of free radicals, then we are both on the same page. Why? Because they're powerful nutrients that stop the nuisance values of Free Radicals from your life.
Let me put it in another way: anti-oxidants prevent or slow the process of oxidation.
Yes, oxidation. Did I remember telling you what oxidaton is? Well, oxidation occurs when you expose your cells to oxygen. Not only do they attack the human cells, they also attack the cells of every living creature - a typical way of seeing oxidation in action is when you take a bite from a fresh red apple and leave it on the table for a while, the exposed part will change color.
Or probably you cut some Aloe Vera leaves and left them for use at a latter time, oxidation would make the leaves to change color ...
This process of changing colors is known as oxidation.
Like wise, when your body cells use oxygen, they naturally produce free radicals as by-products, which can cause heavy damage to your health just as the apple and aloe vera leaves lost their colors.
And for your information, dangerous radicals are nothing than molecules produced when your body breaks down food, or by environmental exposures to substances such as tobacco smoke and radiation.
Too bad, free radicals have been discovered to play a major role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases and the more reasons we have to fight them with everything we have, especially foods with high level of antioxidants.
And if don't try to flush them out as early as possible, then you're courting disaster. Because they'd cause chain reaction that can damage your important body organs and chemicals, DNA and parts of your cells.
Therefore, to prevent this kind of damages, anti-oxidants come to play and mop them up. and further help to repair the damages. More importantly, its duty is to enhance your immune defense and position it to lower your risk of cancer and other infection.
Now, let's look at ...
As you can envision, these are natural substances that may stop or limit the damage caused by free radicals. That's why your body use them to neutralize the effect of free radicals and prevent them from causing damage to other cells. Of course, antioxidants can protect and reverse the damage caused by oxidation to some extent.
One point I want you to note, is Oxidative Stress -- i.e. the damage done by free radicals on your healthy cells. Oxidative stress is the underlying cause of most of the chronic degenerative diseases
as well as aging.
Therefore, to remain healthy, you must always strive to put these radicals in check ... i.e. by quickly neutralizing them at all times. As long as there is sufficient level of antioxidants available for the amount of free radicals produced, neither oxidative stress nor damage will come near your cells.
However, if the free radicals exceed your anti-oxidant level, oxidative stress occurs, which over a prolong period of time, develops into chronic degenerative disease.
Good a thing, your body produces some of its own anti-oxidants and had to obtain others from food such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, some meats, poultry and fish or even nutritional supplements.
Often times, anti-oxidants work in synergy with other nutrients to function effectively. Such nutrients include Copper, Zinc, Manganese and Selenium. Co-factors such as folic acid, vitamin B complex (B1, B2, B6 and B12), while some have the ability to regenerate other antioxidants in order to boost to their power to neutralize more free radicals.
Other Common Anti-oxidants Are:
All these anti-oxidants act on different parts of your body to neutralize free radicals, for example:
That's how these anti-oxidants work tiredlessly to protect you from free radicals...
The best way to get anti-oxidants is by eating a diet with lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds and nuts. Variety is also important. If you take a multi-vitamin supplement, be careful. Too much of some nutrients, such as vitamins E and A or selenium, can be harmful. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any vitamin supplements.
So enjoy your mix of beautiful colors of fruits for your lunch ... that's where the anti-oxidant power is!