Antioxidants are one of the body's chief defenses against cellular damage and
the many health problems that can result from it. By bonding with and neutralizing
free radicals (highly reactive by-products that result when oxygen interacts with
certain types of molecules), they help to stave off molecular chain reactions that
can weaken cells, kill them, or affect their DNA.
We can control the levels of free radicals we are exposed to by avoiding smoking,
harmful chemicals, and other environmental hazards like UV radiation and pollution.
But we cannot completely escape either free radicals or their effects.
Yet keeping the free radicals in check by maintaining an antioxidant-rich diet can
help reduce the risk of age-related degenerative conditions, boost heart health,
the immune system, and stave off diseases like cancer. Antioxidants can also improve
cognitive acuity, promote healthy skin, and help us look and feel younger.