We all know that every cell present in our body needs oxygen to live. However, oxygen is also responsible for damaging the cells of the body due to the oxidation process. As a result of oxidation, free radicals are formed which have a harmful effect on cells. Free radicals are a group of chemicals that have unpaired electrons formed due to the loss or gain of electrons. When the free radical damage continues for long periods can lead to cancer. Antioxidants can reverse the damage caused by oxidation, to some extent. Mainly containing nutrients such as vitamins and minerals as well as some enzymes. We will know more about antioxidants and how they work.
What are antioxidants?
What exactly antioxidants are not best explained with an example. If you keep a slice of apple in the air, after some time you will find that the flesh of the apple has turned brown. This is due to oxidation. Now if you apply a little lemon juice on the apple slice and keep it outdoors, the cut will remain blank. It is due to the effect of antioxidants in the lemon juice. Antioxidants in our food do the same and protect our cells. Basically, the work of an antioxidant is to stop the oxidation process by neutralizing free radicals formed during oxidation. In order to neutralize free radicals, antioxidants are subjected to oxidation. For this reason, our body needs a constant supply of antioxidants.
Antioxidants – How they work?
Free radicals formed during oxidation are in a very unstable, so they have a tendency to release electrons or absorb a new electron from living cells. Each time an electron is released or absorbed in any of the free radicals, a new free radical is formed. The newly formed free radicals continue doing the same. Thus, a radical chain form. If this continues for long, it will end in the breakdown of living cells. Antioxidants like beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E help to convert unstable free radicals in a stable form. Thus, the radical chain is broken and stops the oxidation process. The mechanism of the antioxidant enzymes catalase, as, etc. Glutathione is a little different. These enzymes reduce the speed at which a chain of free radicals. Once free radicals are already formed are stabilized, these antioxidants can completely stop the oxidation chain. The mechanism of each antioxidant is effective only in a certain type of free radicals. In other free radicals, antioxidants, it will be unable to display the desired effect.
Source of Antioxidants
There are thousands of antioxidants found in several types of plant foods. Each has its own working mechanism. However, they all serve to work together. Vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium and beta carotene are some of the best known antioxidants. Sometimes also known as anti-aging antioxidants, helping to give us a youthful skin. As our body uses antioxidants to get rid of free radicals, you need to be replenished from time to time by eating foods that are rich in antioxidants. The use of antioxidant supplements is another way to replenish antioxidants in our body. Several studies have found, however, that supplements often do not contain the proper balance of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that can be obtained from fruits or vegetables. Therefore, the best antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables that are brightly colored. Antioxidant-rich foods include beets, carrots, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, cherries, red grapes and berries.
“Antioxidants – How they work?” It was written with the intention of highlighting the importance of these substances in our daily diet. Apart from the anti-aging, antioxidants play a vital role in preventing the risk of some chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. So, very important to constantly replenish these antioxidants in order not to suffer from a host of ailments.