How Do Antioxidants Work?
You have undoubtedly heard that there are health benefits to be had in eating foods that have high amounts of antioxidants, but you may not be certain how antioxidants work to benefit the body.
What exactly is a Free Radical?
In order to understand the benefits of the antioxidants you have to understand what a free radical is. A free radical is an atom, a molecule, or an ion, that has an unpaired electron. Because they have an unpaired electron they are unstable and they are extremely reactive. They search to find electrons to stabilize themselves. They actually take these stabilizing electrons from other cells and that causes the other cell to become a free radical. Antioxidants stop this chain reaction by giving the free radicals their own electrons and replacing any electrons lost during oxidation.
The Effects of Oxidation
Oxidation is very damaging, and antioxidants work to break the chain of free radicals from forming and thus prevent oxidation. Think of oxidation happening in your body like it happens to:
Inside the human body the free radicals are increasing oxidation and they are causing all manners of illnesses to be able to take control of the body. A diet that is rich in antioxidants can help your systems to stay healthy by giving the free radicals what they need and stopping their ability to start a chain reaction of creation.
Where to get Antioxidants
You get these powerful helpers from many of the foods you already eat. If you want to increase your antioxidants then consume more:
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