Antioxidants: What Are Antioxidants and Do You Actually Need Them?

what are antioxidants

From red wine and chocolate, to superfoods and skincare, it doesn’t take a lot of searching to find products that contain antioxidants these days. Companies promise that these can do a number of great things, leading people to buy antioxidant-rich products in bulk.

Yet although it’s great that people recognize these are good, many people don’t understand them. So what are antioxidants, and what do they do?

Keep reading for a guide that’ll help you understand about it, as well as why they’re so great.

What Are Free Radicals?

Before talking about antioxidants, it’s important to first familiarize yourself with free radicals, and what they do.

Free radicals are compounds found in both your body and the environment. Although they’re natural and help your body in different ways, they can do some bad things if their levels get too high. Pollution, toxins, smoke, and many other factors all promote free radical growth.

When free radicals begin to outnumber your body’s antioxidants, your body can develop some nasty side-effects. You also put yourself at an increased risk of developing cancer, heart disease, and other conditions.

What Are Antioxidants?

These are like the superhero that keeps the bad free radicals in check. They’re molecules that fight free radicals, bringing their numbers back down to a healthy level. This restores the balance that the high numbers of free radicals tried to disrupt.

Although your body has such defenses to help fight free radicals itself, sometimes it needs a bit of help. That’s why it’s a good idea to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants. That’s also why health gurus tout the benefits of antioxidants so often.

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If the definition isn’t clear to you, check out this link to learn more about antioxidants.

What Foods Contain Them?

As mentioned, your body produces its own antioxidants. Plants and animals do as well, which is why consuming whole foods of animal and plant origin can give you additional antioxidants.

Vitamin C, vitamin E, and flavonoids are three types of dietary antioxidants. Consuming foods that are rich in these nutrients will provide you with such benefits. That’s why many fruits, such as berries, and vegetables, such as kale and spinach, have so many antioxidants.

If you’re not a fan of veggies, you can get your necessary antioxidants through many other sources. Meats and fish also have them, although not as many as fruits and vegetables. Coffee, herbal teas, and different types of juices also have plenty of these to go around.

Antioxidants: An Essential Part of a Healthy Diet

If you have any health-conscious friends, odds are that you’ve heard them go on about the benefits of these. But what are these, and how can they help you? As this guide explains, they do a number of great things for your body. Make sure you get enough of them to stay healthy!

Do you know anything else about antioxidants that we forgot to mention? Make sure to tell us in a comment down below.

If you found this article to be useful, take a moment to check out some of our many other blog posts for more guides and tips.

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