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What are antioxidants – Tribune Online

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I have been reading a lot about antioxidants. I will appreciate it if you can kindly educate me on the subject.

Garuba (by SMS)

 

Antioxidants are compounds that reduce or inhibit cellular damage through their ability to neutralize molecules called free radicals. Antioxidants inhibit a process called oxidation, which generates free radicals that leads to cellular damage.

Antioxidants safely interact with free radicals, neutralizing them before they can cause damage to proteins, lipids, and DNA. Although free radicals play an important role in the normal physiological functioning of the body and contribute to a person’s health.

However, when the body produces an excess of free radicals, it can increase a person’s disease risk.

For example, many chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer, have links to progressive damage from free radicals. However, there are some antioxidants that the body cannot produce, which means a person must consume them through food or by taking dietary supplements. These nutrient antioxidants include carotenoids, antioxidant vitamins, including vitamins C and E, selenium, manganese, zinc, flavonoids, and omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Dietary and supplemental antioxidants tend to receive the most attention within the nutrition world because consuming a diet rich in antioxidants can help boost the body’s antioxidant defenses.

Foods such as fruits, vegetables, spices, and nuts contain thousands of different compounds that act as antioxidants. For example, grapes, apples, pears, cherries, and berries contain a group of plant chemicals called polyphenol antioxidants.Brightly colored fruits and vegetables also contain high concentrations of carotenoids which are another class of antioxidants.

Although antioxidant-rich foods are extremely nutritious and important for health, taking a very high-dose antioxidant supplement may not suit everyone and may even be harmful to some people.

It is clear that a diet concentrated in antioxidant-rich foods, especially fruits and vegetables, is beneficial for overall health.

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