Antioxidants are molecules which help defend the cells of your body from damage by harmful molecules like free radicals. They are produced in our body and also present in certain foods.
The free radicals are atoms or group of atoms that accumulate in the body called oxidative stress to produce DNA damage in the cells. A balance between the levels of free radicals and antioxidants is necessary for proper physiological function. The production of free radicals increases with age, stress, exposure to X – rays, ozone, fried food intake, cigarette smoking, air pollutants and industrial chemicals.
In recent years there has been great amount of interest in research regarding the effect of excess free radicals and its deleterious effects on the human body It has shown to cause Atherosclerosis (fat deposition in the blood vessels of the heart causing chest pain, heart attacks; brain causing stroke and intestinal ischemia), cancers, inflammatory joint diseases, asthma, Diabetes Mellitus, senile dementia (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease).
Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and Bioflavonoids acts as powerful natural antioxidants which neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals. Bioflavonoids are natural plant metabolites which are known to have antioxidant property. Foods rich in bioflavonoids are tea, citrus fruits, apples, broccoli, berries (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry), red wine, soya bean, thyme, parsley.