What exactly are Free Radicals and Antioxidants?
ANTIOXIDANTS is a word that is much talked about in the HEALTH,WELLNESS AND NUTRITIONAL WORLD. Antioxidants are good for our bodies however there is confusion and a lot of assumptions as to what they are and also where to find them.
What is an ANTIOXIDANT? – It’s a molecule that inhibits or stops the oxidation of other molecules in the body. Oxidation is a chemical reaction in the body that produces FREE RADICALS, these free radicals lead to chain reactions within the body that damage other cells. So ANTIOXIDANTS protect the body from cell damage.
ANTIOXIDANTS are powerful substances in the body, certain types of OXYGEN molecules are allowed to float freely and they cause OXIDATIVE DAMAGE which creates these FREE RADICALS which then damage the body and cells, especially skin cells. Cancer and premature ageing have been linked to this OXIDATIVE DAMAGE.
WHERE CAN WE FIND ANTIOXIDANTS? – They are found in many foods. SEEDS, NUTS, LEGUMES, FRUITS and VEGETABLES. Antioxidants can be man made such as vitamin C, however is better to consume in its natural state. Vitamin C is a very powerful Antioxidant and helps terminate these Free Radicals. Other health benefits of consuming foods rich in antioxidants are decreasing the risk of infections in the body and keeps the heart healthy.
TOP ANTIOXIDANTS – Oranges which are loaded with Vitamin C – all the berries such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries – pomegranate juice – all the beans such as broad beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, chickpeas, peas and lentils – artichokes and various potatoes as well as apples and cherries.
So now you know what an Antioxidant is and how important it is for the body next time you go food shopping keep in mind the foods you should be buying and putting into your body to protect and prevent cell damage.