Antioxidants are all about the problems that happen when oxygen we are constantly breathing in, ‘burns’ the food we eat to give us the energy we need to stay alive.
It works like this: single oxygen atoms need extra electrons [they need 8 to be stable] so two of them pair up to form a weak bond and they go around as a molecule [see picture]. But when molecules encounter food that’s ready to be oxidized, they easily split apart and while one atom oxidises food the other – it’s called a free radical - is compelled to attack anything to grab a couple of electrons to satisfy it’s chemical need. Cell tissues are most often attacked and disrupted but it doesn’t stop there – the attacked cellular molecules split apart themselves each creating two free radicals and they in turn attack more cellular components forming more and more radicals needing electrons and a chain reaction starts that only ends its destructive deeds when enough antioxidants are present to donate electrons and not become free radicals themselves. If you click on video the whole process is nicely illustrated and makes it plain that antioxidants mop up free radicals helping prevent damage to cells and tissues.
The damage caused when antioxidants are not present can trigger all sorts of nasty things like a variety of cancers, arthritis, cataracts, heart disease, atherosclerosis, and premature aging to name a few. So it’s obvious we should make every effort to see that our bodies have an ample supply of antioxidants to stop damage as quickly as possible!
We do naturally produce some antioxidants but since most are found in foods we eat. It’s important to know that antioxidant rich foods are fruits and vegetables [especially the coloured ones], cereals, beans, nuts and seeds. Apparently the best way to make sure you are getting enough antioxidants is to eat 5 to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. That’s a bit much for me so I take vitamin supplements like vitamins A, C and E that are concentrated antioxidants.
If you want to have the best information possible about antioxidants for optimal health and foods high in antioxidants, I suggest you click on the link provided here. Knowledge is power - fight back - live long. Rie