To know what antioxidants are we first need to understand Free Radicals.
Free radicals are highly reactive particles. They are molecules that miss one electron. As they pass through our bodies they attack healthy cells to replace their missing electron. The attacked cell then becomes a free radical itself.
A chain reaction starts and this process is called Oxidation.
An easy way to show free radical damage is to cut an apple in half. When the apple is exposed to air it will turn brown within minutes. This is oxidation.
Many experts believes that the oxidation process can accelerate:
- Heart disease
”Scientists now believe that free radicals are causal factors in nearly every known disease, from heart disease to arthritis to cancer and cataracts. In fact, free radicals are a major culprit in the aging process itself.”
Lester Packer, PhD, The Antioxidant Miracle
Free Radicals exist naturally in our bodies. But our way of life increases the production of free radically in our bodies dramatically.
For example through:
- Cigarette smoke
- Bad eating habits
- Lack of exercise
- Lack of sleep
To stop the oxidation process we need Anti-Oxidants. An antioxidant gives one of their own electrons to the free radical making it stable again.
The ORAC score shows the ability to neutralize free radicals. The more free radicals a substance can absorb, the higher it’s ORAC score.
Many nutritionists recommend that we consume around 5000 ORAC units per day to significantly impact antioxidant activity in the body and reduce free radical damage.
This means 10 servings of fruits and vegetables each day! If you are not reaching that you might want to consider taking an antioxidant super food. Make sure to look for a pure, natural antioxidant super food is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.