Most of us are familiar with the term “free radicals” and “antioxidants“ as we read and hear them used in health related articles again and again. But many people do not completely understand what they are or how they affect our health.
What are Free Radicals?
Free radicals are natural byproducts of our bodily functions and our bodies require a certain amount of them. They are a by-product of normal cell metabolism and are important in the production of certain hormones and enzymes necessary within our body. However, in excessive quantities, they are harmful and can damage our cells, causing health related issues.
Free radicals are formed during the process of oxidation in our bodies. Think about an apple that has been cut and is exposed to air. It can quickly turn brown. This is caused from the oxidation. Within our bodies, this is the same process that causes these molecules.
Our bodies transport oxygen through our bloodstream where it is required for normal cell function. A problem occurs if the oxygen is lacking in the number of electrons it holds. In order to keep the electrons stable, the molecules will steal electrons from other molecules which leaves a molecule with an unpaired electron which is basically what a free radical is. It is a “free molecule” with an unpaired electron.
There are many factors that can cause these molecules to have unpaired electrons. The quality of the oxygen could be deficient due to environmental factors such as air pollution and cigarette smoke. Problems within our bodies and different bodily functions can also contribute to poor quality oxygen. They can also be caused many other factors such as the diet we eat or exposure to radiation. When the body uses the oxygen for its processes, unpaired electrons are released in the process.
The Role of Antioxidants
Antioxidants work to help neutralize the free radicals. The antioxidant will pair up with the unpaired electron and stabilize it. However, during this process more are created so you need to continue to replace the antioxidants. Therefore, in order for antioxidants to be effective, you should implement them into your diet and consume them every day.
Antioxidants are founds in several foods. Some of the highest antioxidant sources can be found in a number of fruits and vegetables including, blueberries, acai berries, strawberries, broccoli, spinach and carrots.
If you want to increase your intake of antioxidants, there are several supplements available that contain high levels of the antioxidants you need.
Acai Advantage combines 10 powerful fruits into one potent formula, providing your body with a massive source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.