What are Antioxidants?

by Health News

There are 5 major antioxidant supplements. Four of them are know as ACES (Vitamins A, C and E and the mineral Selenium). The fifth is zinc. You can make sure you get plenty of these antioxidants by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and healthy oils. You can also find these compounds in all natural supplements.

The word “oxidant” refers to an agent that changes the molecular structure of something by stealing some of its electrons, leaving it unstable. In this case, that something is the molecules that make up the cells in our bodies. When a cell’s molecules  are oxidized, they have been exposed to too much oxygen and are changed, mutated into a different structure. An example of oxygen changing cell structure is what happens when you cut into an apple and expose its insides to the air. Excessive oxygen is what turns it brown.

When a cell’s molecule is changed this way, it becomes a “free radical”—a molecule that has unbalanced electrons, is unstable and highly reactive. In the case of cellular molecules, such instability is believed to cause degenerative diseases and cancer.

The things that oxidize our body’s molecules include heavy metals, rancid fats, and numerous other chemical compounds we breathe, eat or drink. Even if we make a conscious effort to avoid things that cause oxidation, we often don’t have much control over what our bodies absorb from food and our environment.

So how do we prevent oxidation? We can explain this by going back to the apple example. While exposing its insides to oxygen causes the apple to brown, sprinkling lemon juice on the insides of the apple is often done to slow or prevent browning. Why does this work? Lemons are very high in Vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant. So, if we consume antioxidants we can help protect our cells from antioxidants.

Do you consume enough antioxidants in you daily diet?

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