You know how antioxidants as super foods has been a hot topic now for quite a few years now? Well, do you really even know what an antioxidant is?
An antioxidant is a molecule that can prevents oxidation from occurring in your body. But, that sounds counterintuitive to some, since Oxygen is generally a good thing, why would we want ANTI-oxidants??
Oxidants are also known as “free radicals,” which are molecules with an unpaired electron... which means they are not happy, and they want to steal an electron from one of your happy complete cells! For the sake of it, lets call the electrons the ‘cells identity,’ so stealing an electron is like stealing someones social security card and ruining their credit. Free Radicals are basically like bullies that want to steal your cell’s identity! which would make your cells unhappy :( Also, once the your cell has its identity stolen - it becomes a free radical, and steals an identity from another cell- and the vicious cycle continues.
That is until an antioxidant steps in an saves the day! The antioxidant gives one of its own electrons to the new ‘free radical’ and stops the cycle, so no more cells have their identities stolen.
So why is all of this electron stealing so bad anyway?
Well obviously no one enjoys having their identity stolen, or their credit ruined. Likewise, your cells, and your body as a whole gets pretty angry about this, and it starts an immune reaction and creates inflammation in your body. In general, inflammation in the body is negative, and correlates with a lot of diseases.
For example, in heart disease your macrophages - which are kind of like your pac man cells that go around gobbling things up, are sent out to gobble up your identity-stolen-newly-free-radical cells. If you have a lot of cells that have been oxidized/ identity stolen, the macrophages have a lot to do. They eventually get filled up with confused identity stole cells, so they cannot gobble up any more, and they become a foam cell, and then become plaque in your arteries, which correlates with heart disease.
Thus, If you have antioxidants to STOP the reaction of identity stealing, your Macrophages will not get filled up excessively fast, and this process will not occur. Your cells can keep their own identities and live blissfully happy lives, with their own social security cards.
So, where do you get these antioxidants?? Mostly in your fruits, veggies, whole grains, and healthy sources of fat!
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which is found in most fruits and many vegetables, such as oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli and cauliflower.
Vitamin E, another antioxidant, is basically Vitamin C’s compliment (they work as a tag-teaming pair of antioxidants) is found in nuts, peanuts, vegetable oil, spinach, and broccoli.
I am going to posting about a few of my favorite other sources of antioxidants soon- so check back and help protect your cells from identity theft!