Antioxidants are nutrients that protect cells by preventing or slowing the damage that oxygen can cause to the body.
When cells use oxygen, they naturally generate free radicals (unstable by-products) which are believed to cause cellular damage, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases. Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals or to stop the reactions they cause.
Antioxidants are found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and meat. Examples of antioxidants include beta carotene, vitamins A, C, and E, and lutein. Recent studies have found that antioxidant supplements may not prevent disease and can provide us with too many antioxidants, so the best way to consume them is probably through a healthy, varied diet.