There are a number of different antioxidants, some are vitamins (like Vitamin E) and some are plant chemicals (like flavonoids). We can make some antioxidants on our own, and others we get from food. It’s a good idea to eat antioxidants to add to the team of those that we make on our own.
For every task in our bodies there are certain elements that must be in balance, and when that balance gets out of whack the job does not get done. You could compare this to the task of washing greasy hands. Let’s say you just fixed your bike chain. In order to get the grease off your hands you need both water and soap. If you have too much soap and not enough water you’ll end up with a soapy mess. If you have too much water and not enough soap you’ll still have grease on your hands, they’ll just be wet.
Instead of soap and water, the elements we’re talking about here are antioxidants and free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that bounce around creating all sorts of havoc and damage. We create free radicals all the time just as a result of natural processes in the body. Antioxidants step in and stop free radicals from doing damage.
When there are more free radicals doing damage than there are antioxidants stopping them, it results in stress on the body. This type of stress can initiate many diseases including heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. Obviously these health issues are far more serious than some greasy hands.
As I mentioned tomorrow we’ll talk in depth about which specific foods have antioxidants, but there’s a simple way to find them too. Virtually all fruits, vegetables, and spices have antioxidants in them- so head to your produce section and stock up!