You are all aware that antioxidants benefit our health in more ways than one. But have you ever wondered what an antioxidant actually is? Explore the importance of antioxidants in this article.

What Is An Antioxidant

An antioxidant is a molecule/substance which acts against the damages of the body to cure it through the process called oxidation. In oxidation, a chemical reaction occurs which carries an electron from the substance to an oxidizing agent in animal tissue. Antioxidants are made up of minerals, vitamins and enzymes and are consumed to prevent the body from the development of many diseases like cancer, heart disease, cataracts, etc. Sometimes, when the amount of harmful molecules produced in the body is above the protective capability of the antioxidant, it leads to the oxidative stress. These harmful molecules are called free radicals. Chemically, free radicals are fragments of an active atom or molecule that modify due to the abnormal number of electrons. The free radical which contains oxygen is known as reactive oxygen species. The reactive oxygen species are made up of radicals, superoxide, hydroxyl radical and oxygen derivative, which is free of unpaired electrons. Generally, free radical has unpaired electrons which is responsible for the instability. In the following lines, we have provided detailed information about the antioxidants and their importance.
Where Are Antioxidants Found
The human body produces antioxidants by its own. However, as we grow up, the ability to produce antioxidant decreases. As such, it is absolutely essential to consume fruits and vegetables that have antioxidants present in them naturally. Fruits and vegetables containing Vitamin C and E have antioxidant properties. Herbs are also a great source of antioxidants, as they have a stronger content of these vitamins. Turmericconsists of curcumin, which is a potent antioxidant that fights the free radicals present in liver. Green tea consists of OPC’s, which helps in protecting the heart and circulatory system. Red clover and its extract contain antioxidant called tocopherol. Consumption of these herbs assists in providing therapeutic benefits. Apart from these herbs, consumption of tomato reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Also, Mediterranean diet has a high level of antioxidants.
Importance Of An Antioxidant
Antioxidants are believed to provide best protection against the damages done by free radicals. A free radical is an unstable molecule which grabs an electron for the stable molecules to fulfill its requirement of repair. In this process, it makes a stable molecule unstable. Also, it gives birth to another free radical, thereby destructing more cells. A single free radical has the capability to damage million stable molecules in the body. This process takes place continuously in our body. Humans are exposed to the risk of free radicals every day, due to their indulgence in alcohol, tobacco and smoking. Sunlight and air are also a potent source of free radical. Large accumulation of free radicals lessens the longevity of our life. To overcome the activities of free radicals, antioxidants are essential.
What Antioxidant Does
Antioxidants are helpful in destroying free radicals which are responsible in damaging the cells. They boost the growth of the healthy cells in the body. They protect the cells against abnormal aging and fight against age-related molecular degeneration. Thus, it can be said that antioxidants make a person look young and beautiful. Antioxidants also protect the immune system of the body, making it healthier and efficient enough to fight against diseases.
Are Antioxidants Beneficial
Natural consumption of antioxidant is always beneficial. Consume lots of fruits and vegetables that contain high dose of vitamin C and E. This would help you in consuming the antioxidants naturally. Taking artificial supplement of antioxidant in the form of pills regularly can be extremely harmful.
Now that you know what an antioxidant is and its importance, make sure you include foods that contain them in high quantities for a healthier and younger you! 

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