If you're wondering why there seems to have been an influx of health and wellness products emphasising their antioxidising properties in the past few years, you're probably not alone.
And though it may seem like a clever marketing ploy to get you in a panic, oxidation in your body has dangerous effects and enriching your diet with foods and supplements to aid your body's antioxidising efforts is important.
The bad guys at the root of it all are free radicals that are the result of natural biochemical reactions but which can also be generated by drinking alcohol, smoking, eating fried foods, and exposure to air pollutants and pesticides.
Although free radicals are naturally occurring in our bodies, they can cause major damage because when they latch onto healthy cells, they compromise their normal functions through the process of oxidation.
And because free radical reactions (oxidation) in our bodies can lead to the deterioration of healthy cells that in turn lead to degenerative diseases including various cancers, it's important to decrease your exposure to free-radical-generating substances as well as increase your body's chances of fighting their harmful effects with, you guessed it, antioxidants!
It's important to note, though, that your body needs a balance of free radicals and antioxidants to function, so you can't and shouldn't eat with the aim of completely ridding your body of the former.