You’re probably already familiar with antioxidant foods. If not your doctor, then you’ve probably heard about them more than once from your mom. “Eat your veggies. An apple a day…” Sound familiar?
While it’s quite true that there’s nothing healthier than including fresh produce in your diet, there is actually another reason why doctors insist on a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables. The answer may lie in antioxidant foods.
Antioxidant foods are powerful scavengers of free radicals. The function of antioxidant foods is to hunt down free radicals and destroy them.
What are Free Radicals?
Free radicals are highly reactive chemical substances that are produced when the body undergoes the process of oxidation. The reason that free radicals are highly reactive is that they lack electrons, which cause them to be highly unstable. To achieve maximum stability, free radicals therefore steal electrons from other molecules around them and in so doing, destroy the cell membranes and weaken the cell.
Free radicals cause a chain reaction of “electron stealing” because the minute they start taking away electrons from other molecules, those molecules become free radicals themselves. Massive destruction ensues, leading to such disorders as Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, cancer, senility, and more.
How Antioxidant Foods Work
Oxidation is a naturally occurring process in the body so there is really no way for us to avoid or prevent it from happening. Even the mere act of breathing causes oxidation to take place. That being said, free radicals, as by-products of oxidation, will always be present in our body.
But what if there is a way for us to retard the development of free radicals? What if there is a way to break the free radical chain reaction? What if there is a way to prevent those diseases caused by harmful free radicals from developing?
Yes, indeed, there is a way. Antioxidant foods are powerful substances that can neutralize free radicals before they damage your body’s cells. This is the major reason why scientists are continuing to conduct studies on antioxidant foods and the benefits that the body can incur from them.
Antioxidant Foods: Which Foods?
As mentioned earlier, many foods with high antioxidant levels are vegetables and fruits. Tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers – these are but a few of the many antioxidant foods out there. However, you should note that not all vegetables are high sources of antioxidant foods. Some vegetables or fruits may have lesser amount or concentration of antioxidant foods as other vegetables. For instance, white grapes don’t have the same amount of antioxidant foods as the grapes used in making red wine.