WHAT ARE ANTIOXIDANTS
Our body uses antioxidants to protect the cells of the body from oxidative stress. Some antioxidants are enzymes that the body produces itself, while other antioxidants, such as vitamin C and Vitamin E, we need to get supplied from the food.
WHAT ARE REACTIVE OXYGEN COMPOUNDS?
Antioxidants are the body’s natural defenses against reactive oxygen compounds, such as free radicals. The body produces a number of enzymes that act as antioxidants. They work by preventing, defuse and repairing damage caused by an excess of reactive oxygen compounds in the body.
Reactive oxygen compounds are constantly formed in the body as a byproduct when the body burns oxygen. An example of reactive oxygen compounds are free radicals. Antioxidants help the body neutralize the harmful oxygen compounds. Without antioxidants, oxygen would act as poison in the body.
The balance between the formation of the reactive oxygen compounds and their annihilation with the help of antioxidants is important for the body’s cells to function optimally.
What do antioxidants do?
The antioxidant system in the body consists of a number of enzymes that the body produces. These help the body keep cells vital. The reactive oxygen compounds formed during the combustion in the body can oxidize and affect the body’s cells. This is the same process that happens when grease harsher or a nail rusts. The body’s natural «rust agent» is antioxidants. When the body is subjected to loads such as stress, sunlight, unhealthy food, hard exercise and more, an increased amount of the harmful oxygen connections is formed.
In addition, we can get extra with antioxidants from the food we eat. Antioxidants such as Vitamin C and E help protect cells from oxidative stress.
What are Natural, strong antioxidants?
A number of different compounds help to protect the cells from oxidative stress such as:
1. Vitamins such as riboflavin, vitamin C and vitamin E
2. Minerals such as selenium, copper and zinc
3. Enzymes produced by the body
The antioxidants are found naturally in the body’s cells in the form of various enzymes. Other antioxidants can not be produced by the body, but must be supplied via the diet such as vitamin C and Vitamin E and the minerals selenium, copper and zinc. Foods rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin C and Vitamin E, include berries, fruits, nuts, vegetables and spices.