Antioxidant is a molecule capable of control the oxidation of other molecules by breaking the free radical chain of reactions, the responsible of age related deterioration.
Our bodies produce free radicals as a response to environmental toxins, such as cigarette smoke, chemicals, sunlight, radiation, lack of exercise, stress, medications, and even food (specially processed).
Understanding the process:
Think about when you slice an apple. In seconds the exposed flesh turns from white to brown. This occurs because of oxidation. But if you add orange juice or lemon juice to the apple right after you slice it, it will keep it whiter longer because the antioxidant vitamin C in the juice.
Oxidation is like biological rusting and similar to what occurs to an iron bar that is dumped in the ocean.
Free radicals seek to steal electrons from many of the proteins in your body and can also result in damage to your DNA and other cell structures, that's why we have been seeing a lot in the media about antioxidant food and beauty products to fight anti aging process.
The most efficient way to optimize your antioxidant intake is to eat a large variety of locally grown fresh organic vegetables and juicing, especially if you eat the pulp. Acai berry is one of the most powerful antioxidant food to fight free radicals in our system, but find below a list of vegetables and fruits high in antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and Beta-carotene. Also, reducing sugar and processed foods intake will decrease your antioxidant stress.
SOME ANTIOXIDANT FOODS:
Vitamin C: Asparagus, Broccoli, Cantaloupe, Cauliflower, Grapefruit, Green and red bell peppers, Guava, Lemons, Oranges, Pineapple, Strawberries, Spinach, Kale, Collard greens, Tangerines, Tomatoes
Vitamin E: Mustard greens, Swiss chard, Spinach, Turnip, Collard greens, Almonds, Peanuts Sunflower seeds
Beta Carotene: Broccoli, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Cilantro, Kale, Spinach, Turnip, Collard greens, Romaine