Antioxidants are said to have a range of health benefits. But what do we really know about them, and how true are these claims?
Antioxidants are thought to prevent damage to cells caused by unstable molecules in the body called 'free radicals'.
These molecules are released when your body processes oxygen, and if you have too many they can cause damage and even lead to certain diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and some forms of cancer.
As antioxidants help to cancel out the effect of these molecules, they may also help to prevent these diseases. However, more research is needed.
Some common examples of antioxidants include:
But it's not yet clear if it's the antioxidants in these foods that help to prevent these conditions or other factors.
For example, the benefits may also be linked to other nutrients in these foods, following a healthy and a balanced diet or other lifestyle factors.
Quote of the day
Health requires healthy food.
Roger Williams, physician