Antioxidants are compounds that prevent free radicals from damaging the cells of your body.The damage, called oxidative stress, can accumulate and contribute to the development of several chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, as well as age-related conditions, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers.
Free radicals are unstable molecules and, depending on their chemical nature and composition, can attack either the membranes that keep our cells intact, the DNA or genetic material contained within our cells, or the proteins that help keep our cells functioning properly.
Where do free radicals come from? Some are produced in our environment, i.e., air pollutants, cigarette smoke and ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. They are also produced in our bodies naturally during the process of metabolism, and when our immune system is presented with a virus or other harmful microbe that needs to be destroyed.
With the Antioxidants eBook from Tufts Health & Nutrition, we help you discover the effects of antioxidants, and highlight the benefits of consuming a diet high in plant-based foods on maintaining health and preventing disease. Instantly download your copy today!