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What’s The Deal With Antioxidants?

How Many Times Have You Heard the Word: Antioxidants? 

Far too many times, we’re sure. Do you even know what they are? What do they do? How they’re good for us? Or even where you can find them? The answer is "probably not". The word is thrown around often, but not many people actually know much about them, if anything at all; we just know that they’re good for us. It’s time for this confusion to end, we just have to know what antioxidants are! 

Start by Breaking the Word Down into Two Parts:

  1. Anti
  2. Oxidants

The word "Anti": means against, but against what? The word "Oxidants" comes from oxidation. Combined, it adds up to "against oxidation". Are things starting to feel just a little bit clearer? 

Is the term oxidation still a bit confusing? Okay, we’ll explain it. It’s a process in which oxygen gets metabolized (digested or broken down) creating something called “free radicals” which are oxygen molecules that start to "steal" electrons from surrounding molecules in your body. Now, your body can handle having a few “free radicals” and actually needs them for normal functionality. However, too many of them could cause damage (cancer or aging prematurely) to the body. 

In a nutshell, antioxidants are substances that work to stop your cells from being damaged by giving away their electrons to the molecule that has a missing electron. You can sort of think of antioxidants like Robin Hood, giving back to the poor when they've been overtaxed. 

Now, We Know What Antioxidants are, Where can we Get Them From? 

Well, there are two types of antioxidants: 

  1. Those that our bodies create naturally. 
  2. Those that we get from food. 

The most effective antioxidants you can get from food are thought to be in food that contains vitamins A, C, E and lycopene. So, next time you're feeling a little peckish, do your body a favor and eat something like berries, dark chocolate, kale, or even spinach. They're packed with antioxidant goodness! 

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