Warriors of the body and heroes of health, antioxidants have been shown to fight heart disease, help prevent cancer, reduce the risk of illness, soothe joints, smooth skin, reduce fatigue and avert blindness.
But although we're well-rehearsed in their benefits we're less familiar with what antioxidants actually are.
Well, breathe a sigh of relief - you have us to give you the lowdown.
Antioxidants are single-minded, their sole purpose in life is to fight everything that causes damaged to your cells - pollution, chemicals, UV rays, stress hormones and even toxic chemicals produced by your own body. These negative elements weaken the body's cells and may cause molecules to lose an electron. These electron-less molecules are known as free-radicals and they compensate for their loss by stealing electrons from other molecules; this, in turn, damages other cells and sets off a domino-like effect of destruction in the body.
No need for despair! Antioxidants are the nutrient police force that have the power to halt free-radicals in their tracks. In short, they can replace a molecule's missing electron stopping the wave of trouble and turning the molecules back to, well, ordinary, well-behaved molecules.
It's also important to note that our bodies are clever things. They make a variety of antioxidants of their own accord and have a daily battle against free-radicals without you ever knowing. Unfortunately, these internally created antioxidants just can't handle it all - especially in a world filled with smog, acid rain and all the chemicals we use in day to day life. And that is exactly why our obsession with antioxidants, the body's James Bond, has come about.
Take a look at our list of the top five health boosting antioxidants and enjoy feeding your face safe in the knowledge that you're winning the free-radical fight....
Which antioxidant are you rushing out to buy? Will you be topping up on tomato before your next holiday?
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