Antioxidant is what minimizes or prevents oxidation: the process that causes an oxidizing agent when, by reacting with another substance, it generates oxide (a compound derived from the combination of oxygen with a metalloid or metal). The term antioxidant can be used as an adjective or as a noun.
An antioxidant is called substance that allows to prevent or delay the oxidation of other molecules. It can be a natural or human-produced element that, due to its characteristics, helps reduce the damage suffered by cells.
The vitamin C, the selenium and the beta carotenes are examples of antioxidants. Many of them are present in the vegetables And in the fruits, with which the inclusion of these foods in the diet is beneficial for the body.
What antioxidants do is prevent deterioration caused by free radicals, which are molecules generated in the framework of metabolism. Free radicals, which have an unpaired electron and are unstable, are involved in the irruption of various diseases: in this way, a diet rich in antioxidants contributes to preserving health.
The free radicals they cause oxygen, which is necessary to live but is also very reactive, to enter cells, generating their oxidation. Thus, aging – the deterioration of cells – develops naturally in a progressive manner.
By incorporating the appropriate amount of antioxidants through the diet or through dietary supplements, excess free radicals are eliminated. This is because antioxidants release electrons on the blood, allowing free radicals to acquire them and achieve stability. Thus, a reduction in the effects of old age is achieved and, consequently, an increase in life expectancy.