By: Tania Menachegani Khachatourians, B.S., CSUN Dietetic Intern
Inside the human body, there is a constant battle to keep the “bad” out and keep the “good” in. Antioxidants are the “soldiers” that fight this battle inside our body.
What are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are substances that protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.1 Free radicals are substances that attack healthy cells and are produced through normal body functions including food consumption, breathing, exercise, and lifestyle choices.1 These are the “unstable molecules made by the process of oxidation during normal metabolism” that may play a role in cancer, stroke, and disease development.2 Free radicals damage cell components such as DNA, proteins, and the cell membrane.3 Free radicals may be increased through toxins found in cigarette smoke, metals, and high-oxygen atmospheres. Whether the antioxidants are naturally found in food or synthesized, they neutralize free radicals in the body and prevent or delay the cell damage.4