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What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals are compounds that can cause harm if they are too high in your body. They are related to a variety of diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Your body has its own antioxidant defense system to control free radicals.
However, antioxidants ingredients are also present in foods, especially in fruits, vegetables and other whole plant foods. Several vitamins, such as vitamins E and C, are effective antioxidants. Antioxidant preservatives also play a vital role in food production by extending shelf life.
How do free radicals work
Free radicals are constantly forming in your body. Without antioxidants, free radicals can quickly cause serious damage and eventually death. However, free radicals also have important functions vital to health. For example, your immune cells use free radicals to fight infection. Therefore, your body needs to maintain a certain balance between free radicals and antioxidants. When the number of free radicals exceeds that of antioxidants, it leads to a state called oxidative stress.