THE ROLE OF ANTIOXIDANTS
Antioxidants act as ” free radical scavengers” that prevent and repair damage done by free radicals. Antioxidants are nutrients (vitamins and minerals) as well as enzymes (proteins in your body that assist in chemical reactions).
To appreciate the value of antioxidants, you must first understand the oxidation process.
For example, if you cut an apple, it turns brown, this is an oxidation process. The surface of apple reacts with the oxygen in the air which causes the surface to turn brown gradually. Oxygen can work to break down other substances, creating what are called free radicals(for details ref earlier post) which are extremely damaging. Similarly When you perform any activities, your body is burning and producing toxins by reacting with oxygen (which is oxidation: just like the apple cut in half and turns brown).
How Do Antioxidants Work?
The mission of antioxidants is to find out these free radicals inside your body and make it impossible to attach to your body so that your cells are being protected from the damage of these free radicals. If you are lack of antioxidants and unable to neutralise these free radicals they can escape into surrounding tissues and further damage your cells. To prevent this damage, balance is the key.
The number of free radicals that you produce everyday is not the same. The pollution in the air, the foods you eat and the activity you perform determine the number of free radicals. Definitely, you must have enough antioxidants to neutralise these free radicals.
Although your body can produce antioxidants, however, when the number of free radicals is too high, you will need to obtain extra antioxidants from your normal diet or supplements.