Antioxidants are molecules that inhibit the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals, leading to chain reactions that may damage cells. Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E stop these chain reactions by being oxidized themselves, thereby terminating the chain at that point. This prevents or delays cellular damage. Other antioxidant enzymes produced by the body include glutathione peroxidase, catalase, and peroxiredoxin. These defense mechanisms are very important because oxidative stress plays a role in many diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and inflammatory diseases.
We can also get antioxidants from our diet. Foods that are rich in antioxidants include fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains. Berries are an excellent source of antioxidants including blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and even pomegranates antioxidant supplements are also available, but it is best to get antioxidants from food sources because they are more bioavailable and also provide other nutrients that are beneficial to our health.