Antioxidants are micronutrients found in certain foods that protect against “oxidative stress”.
Oxidative stress happens when “free radicals” form and cause damage to our cells, protein, and DNA.
Free radicals are associated with many types of diseases and are theorized to be the reason why we age.
Free radicals naturally occur as a result of our metabolism and other cellular processes.
We also need free radicals to live and to serve as an important part of our immune system.
Antioxidants, however, balance the amount of free radicals in our body in order to maintain a healthy state.
Good sources of antioxidants can be found in whole foods such as fruits and vegetables.
Vitamins C and E function as antioxidants.
Carotenoids, or the compound that gives fruits and vegetables their color, also function as antioxidants.
Carotenoids can be found in tomatoes, peppers, carrots, leafy greens, watermelon, berries, oranges, and many other fruits and vegetables.
Antioxidants can also be found in herbs and spices, green tea, wine, and dark chocolate.
Antioxidants are just another reason why it is so important to focus not only on the quantity of your food, but the quality as well!