Nutrition 101 | Antioxidants
Welcome back! I’m so glad you are joining me in my little corner of the internet.
You’ve heard of antioxidants, right? At the very least, someone, somewhere, has told you that blueberries, pomegranates, etc. are superfoods.. They’re superfoods because of their rich antioxidant content.
Today’s post serves as a very basic introduction to antioxidants and why they are important.
Before we dive into antioxidants we first have to understand what a free radical is. These molecules are missing an electron in their outer shell which makes them extremely unstable. They basically wander around our body looking for an electron to steal so they can become balanced and stable.
Free radicals are constantly stealing electrons which ultimately results in a damaged cell. This process creates a stressful environment and can potentially lead to disease.
Free radicals are a completely normal part of our biology and there is no way to completely eradicate them from our body. A problem occurs when there is an imbalance between free radicals and the ability to detoxify their harmful effects (this is called oxidative stress).
Don’t worry just yet, friend.
As long as we keep free radicals to a minimum, we’re good. Enter antioxidants.
Antioxidants are electron donors which is great news because free radicals are looking for an extra electron to complete their outer shell. The more antioxidants in our body, the more likely it is that free radicals won’t steal from unsuspecting cells.
The pigment in fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants which is why we tell our kids to eat them, among other reasons, of course! There are different types of antioxidants giving fruits and vegetable a wide variety of rich colors. Eating an assortment of colors from the produce section is the best way to incorporate antioxidants into your diet thus reducing your risk of disease.
I hope this super quick and easy introduction to antioxidants was helpful for you. I love understanding how food is used to nourish our bodies so having this moment to geek out is so fun for me.
I hope you enjoy it, too!