Antioxidants are mentioned a lot when talking about healthy foods, but do you know what they are? If you don’t you’re not alone, most people are in the dark when it comes to antioxidants.
So, the easiest way to tell you what they are is to explain what oxidation is: It is a natural process that happens when oxygen interacts with cells, i.e. when you slice an apple it becomes brown, if you have a cut it gets inflamed.
It happens to all cells in nature, some die and are replaced, but 1 – 2 % get damaged and turn into free radicals.
Just by breathing, exercising and breaking down food your body creates free radicals. Free radicals are nasty little buggers that attack other cells which can then lead to different diseases.
To protect itself, Mother Nature produces Antioxidants, these are molecules that interact with free radicals and neutralise them.
The main antioxidants are in your diet are vitamins C and E, beta carotene and selenium. More about them later.
Moderate exercise also enhances your antioxidant defences but intense exercise can actually damage them.
The free radicals produced by oxidation on your cells can be kept in control by the antioxidants your body produces, but there are external toxins that are free radical generators. EEK!
Excessive alcohol consumption
Food and water from pesticides and other toxins.
Certain medications and/or treatment
Am I getting enough antioxidants?
Unfortunately, the antioxidants produced naturally by you are not enough to neutralise all of the free radicals in your body. Therefore, you need a constant supply of external sources of antioxidants.
Your ability to stay healthy depends on the balance of your exposure to these crazy free radicals and your intake of foods with antioxidants.
Where can I get these antioxidants?
Well, the good news is there are certain nutrients that are antioxidants.
I'm our communications and marketing person, dealing with social media and copywriting. I also work with Matt and Ric overseeing the design and strategic management of the site.
I'm also the author of the Eva the Hungry Amoeba children's book series (only one so far). You can find it on Amazon.
My favourite foods, shepherds pie and smoked haddock!