Simply stated the antioxidant definition are molecules which are found in foods, vitamins, enzymes and some other nutrient compounds such as COQ10. The job the antioxidants perform in the body is to neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are formed in two ways. The first is the body creates free radicals naturally during metabolism to aid the body in combating viruses and bacteria.
The healthy body and all its cells is a very balanced organism and the body virtually takes care of itself.
The second way they are formed is during oxygen interaction between molecules. The free radical atom or group of atoms is formed during a chemical reaction in a normal cell. This chemical reaction breaks the bond between the normal paired electrons and eliminates one of the electrons. The normal cell then has an unpaired electron in its outer ring and becomes a free radical. The free radical then is out of balance and becomes hyperactive trying to get its balance back by stealing electrons from other normal paired electron atoms around it.
This can start a chain reaction if there are not enough antioxidants to neutralize these out of balance free radicals. The oxidized free radicals are believed to cause tissue damage at the cellular level, harming our DNA, mitochondria, and cell membranes. It is thought that free radical damage to blood vessels is a key ingredient to poor circulation. The damage causes inflammation and thus causes blood platelets to stick on the inside of the vessel wall which starts the disease called Arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.
Antioxidants to the rescue! According to the antioxidant definition the antioxidant molecules which are abundant in antioxidant-foods like blueberries, acai, pomegranate, mangosteen, and vegetables like broccoli and beets, can fix the free radical runaway with ease. The antioxidant molecule donates one of its electrons to the free radical and brings the free radical back into balance. This can be demonstrated by cutting an apple. If you let it sit, oxidation starts almost immediately and it turns the apple brown within minutes.
However if you coat the apple with orange juice containing the antioxidant vitamin C the apple stays white. This is approximately what happens inside the body when the antioxidant gives its electrons to the free radicals.
There is a greatly increased need today for antioxidants in your diet. The formation of free radicals is greatly increased by the environmental factors of pollution, radiation, herbicides and things like cigarette smoke which can lead to cell damage. This pollution is found in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. This pollution through free radical production greatly increases your risk of heart disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and other debilitating disease.
The most recent scientific findings and opinions seems to favor that antioxidant definition rich foods, sometimes called super foods, may help in the prevention of disease.
There is one fact we know for sure. Those people who eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables have less heart disease, less cancer and less circulatory problems They also have less kidney and liver disease. An eating plan containing plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and fish can supply all the antioxidants your body needs. When you cannot eat the proper amounts of fruits and vegetables try healthy chocolate which is full of antioxidants for complete and optimal health.
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