Antioxidants are compounds found in foods which prevent cell damage caused by Free Radicals.
The Human body is made up of trillions of cells.
Cells are made up of trillions of atoms.
Atoms have 3 main parts, protons, neutrons and electrons.
Protons and neutrons are in the centre (nucleus) of the atom and electrons orbit the nucleus in pairs.
A fully paired atom is stable. An atom with unpaired electrons is called a Free Radical and this is unstable.
Free radicals are unstable and cause cells to break down over time.
When we breathe our body uses the oxygen to produce energy. This process can lead to production of some free radicals. Pollution, cigarette smoke, pesticides, infection in the body, stress, and lots of other things can cause excess free radicals in our body.
A certain number of free radicals are needed in our bodies, however too many free radicals can lead to a condition in the body called “oxidative stress”.
As our bodies age, we lose the ability to fight the effects of free radicals and this results in more oxidative stress and more damage to our cells causing “normal ageing”.
Oxidative Stress due to free radicals has been linked to various conditions such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke, respiratory disease, immune deficiency, and other inflammatory conditions.
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