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Why are antioxidants good for you and how do they work?
"Antioxidants protect against free radicals which are bad!" ...Ok so what are they?
Free radicals are unstable atoms or molecules. Unstable how?
They have an unpaired electron, which is hazardous because electrons normally come in pairs.
(Normal) (Free Radical)
Free radical stealing an electron and destabilizing other cells.
They collide with molecules, stealing an electron and creating more free radicals, which create chain reaction of cell damage & destruction.
When free radicals meet with oxygen, the result is rust-like oxidative damage. Oxidation is seen when you cut open an apple and it browns!
Antioxidants come in a neutralize the free radicals by donating an electron.
Antioxidants are stable with paired and unpaired electrons so they don't become free radicals.
When consuming both fruits and veggies, remember: the darker the color, the higher the antioxidant content!
Kale, Collard Greens, Swisss Chard, Spinach
Contains polyphenols, especially anthocyanins that reduce effects of Alzheimers and parkinsons.
One of the best antioxidants.
Guava, Tomatoes, Grapefruit, Papaya, Watermelon.
Contains lutein best known for its effect on healthy eyes, and is abundant in green leafy vegetables.
Helps body produce happiness hormones.
Dark Chocolate, Tea, Coffee.
Contains the antioxidant lycopene, which plays a role in preventing cancer and heart disease.
Tomatoes are the US's #1 choice.
Carrots, Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin
Contains both the natural antioxidant flavinoid and caffeine, which ehances short term memory.
Consume in moderation.
Contains the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is found in many foods orange in color.
Also cantaloupes, mangos, apricots.