What are antioxidants?

What are antioxidants?

Written by Kriti Saraswat |Updated : August 15, 2013 10:40 AM IST

antioxidantsOur body has many free radicals (molecules produced when the body breaks down food or due to smoking, drinking, etc) and antioxidants are substances which prevent our cells from the damage caused by the action of these free radicals. Antioxidants can be found in various foods and including them in your diet can protect you from various ailments and also slow the ageing process. The free radicals attack the healthy cells of our body to stablise themselves but in this process, give rise to more such free radicals.

But when there are antioxidants present in the body, they deactivate them before they can attack healthy cells. This is why they are an important compound needed by the body. They can be found in our everyday foods like fruits, vegetables, berries and nuts. Red wine and dark chocolate are also good sources of antioxidants and so are green tea and coffee. Foods which are high in vitamin C and E are excellent to get your dose of antioxidants.

Apart from food, the body also generates antioxidant enzymes of its own. Damage caused by free radicals can result in poor immune system, ageing and severe diseases like heart disease. So have foods rich in antioxidants in your meals and protect your body from the harmful effects of free radicals.

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