Antioxidants -Free Radicals

Antioxidants for Health

It seems like you hear about antioxidants every where you go. I see that word on labels all over the grocery store, even on makeup and it is talked about on TV quite frequently. Dr. Oz and The Doctors have emphasized the importance of antioxidants to live a healthier life and how each one helps prevent diseases.

Action of Antioxidants and Free Racicals

source sciencedaily
source sciencedaily

The Way Antioxidants Works

When we breathe in oxygen and it combines with our red blood cells (RBCs). Sometimes these oxygen molecules are hit by radiation and they break apart. The result is a singlet oxygen which only has one of its electrons remaining. Oxygen is not stable in this form and attempts to steal an electron away from a nearby molecule or donate its remaining electron to a nearby molecule. They have a charge on them due to an excess or deficient number of electrons.

They try to scavenge or donate electrons to surrounding tissues which can in turn damage the tissue. If DNA is involved, the problem intensifies and genetic cell mutations may occur which is one theory as to the cause of cancer. They can change the DNA, sometimes permanently. Free radicals may even play a bigger role in the formation of cancerous cells by a “chain-reaction” effect, causing other cells to become damaged.


source Flickr
source Flickr

Free Radical Exposure

Free radicals are not only produced inside out bodies, but they are also ingested through smoking, eating certain food, air pollution, x-rays, extended exposure to the sun and a variety of other poisons we are exposed to in our environment. Blood vessel damage that leads to heart disease with plague buildup is thought to occur due to free radicals. Cancer, some degenerative eye damage, old age and other inflammatory diseases are believed to be byproducts of oxidation.

How Antioxidants Work

Antioxidants, just as the name implies, are able to block this process. Typically when we think of oxidation we think of rust, but this same process happens in our bodies. Think how an apple looks if you cut it in half and let it sit for a while. It turns brown, but if you cut it, then soak it in orange juice for several minutes it won’t turn brown, due to the vitamin C in the orange juice. In the same way vitamin C protects your skin.

Fruits and Vegetables with Antioxidants

Some of the more important sources of antioxidants which block the process are beans, blueberries, cranberries, pecans and broccoli, but there are many others as well.

  • Beans contain phenolic which have13,000 units of this antioxidant power that is measured in food groups, It lowers blood sugar and reduces your risk of cancer.
  • Ellagic acid is found in red foods, such as pomegranates, strawberries and raspberries.
  • Anthocyanin is found in the deep purple and dark blue foods. Anthocyanin fights heart disease by sucking cholesterol out of the plague. It is in red wine (concentrated), blue berries, purple potatoes, black currents.
  • Vitamins A, C & E antioxidants are found in yellow and orange vegetables and fruit.
  • Retinol (vitamin A) is found in apricots, cantaloupe, lemons and oranges.
  • Vitamin E protects you from the suns radiation.
  • Green colored food found in the cruciferous vegetables have Indo 3 Carbinol , which has very potent breast cancer fighting abilities. They destroy free radicals primarily in liver. Some of these vegetables are broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower. You should eat 2 servings per week minimally.


source vegetablefarms
source vegetablefarms

Beets Boost Endurance

Blood flows in blood vessels giving off a little gas called nitrates. Beets and beet juice has a high nitrate content. A research study at Queen May University of London concluded that beets help lower high blood pressure, thus reducing the inflammation causing heart disease and they fight cancer cells from forming and prospering.

Beets may also helps you lose weight as 1/2 cup has 37 calories, 0 fat, little higher in sugar but increased fiber. Besides losing weight, beets will help your sex life as it revs up your libido. Beets also may fight off dementia in the frontal lobe. The greens of beets are also good for juicing. They boost your endurance and cyclist use them before bike riding


Lemons are good for digestion and a great natural acid, vitamin C fights of H pyloric which causes stomach ulcers, and it also helps with constipation

Try this drink: 1 c water, 1/4 lemon juice, 1 tsp flax seed for stomach disorders and constipation.

To exfoliate your skin use 1 cup milk, 2 tsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp brandy. Paint it on your face for several minutes, then rinse off.


source Flickr
source Flickr

Foods in Combination

There are some food combination that give you more energy.

  • Chick peas (iron hard to absorb) and red pepper (vitamin C) helps absorb the peas.
  • To improve your mood, eat eggs and broccoli which is a good source of calcium.
  • Reduce the calories of pasta by using balsamic vinegar (ascetic acid and slows down glucose and starch pasta) and it slashes the blood sugar by 20%

Antioxidants and free radicals


In conclusion:

Oxidative damage plays a huge role in many of our modern-day diseases, such as muscle and tissue degeneration, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, as well as many other health problems. You are exposed to free radicals as a normal bi-product of regular bodily processes, like breaking down the food we eat, taking toxic medicines, and exposure to pollutants. In addition, over-exposure to the sun (sunburn) and smoking can also increase your body’s need to oxidize and create free-radicals. Antioxidants stop this cellular chain reaction of oxidation by neutralizing the free radicals.

The copyright to this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

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Comments 43 comments

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

I love this hub, very much. Pamela, You made this hub so special and easy to understand. You still my favorite hubber who concern about healthy life. You always come up with great information, like this one. I hope we can give big attention to substantial things like antioxidant. I believe it give us many benefits and it proven by many people and I believe scientist also doing great research to observe this substance. Wow.... until I write this comment, I can't say something to this hub. WOW and WOW...... I learn much from you, again and again. I give my vote special for you. Take care and have a nice weekend.


ghomefitness profile image

ghomefitness 6 years ago from Chicago,IL

Great hub, I truly believe antioxidants improve the quality of life.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Prasetio, Thank you so much for your praise! You are too kind but I appreciate your comments very much. Thank you.

ghomefitness, I believe they will continue to do research and learn more and more about antioxidants. Thanks for your comment.

vrajavala profile image

vrajavala 6 years ago from Port St. Lucie

did you know that chocolate is a great antioxidant?

katrinasui profile image

katrinasui 6 years ago

Another good hub Pamela, you are a great writer. I always like to read your hubs because you write articles on different and interesting topics. I am glad to be your follower.

daravuthz profile image

daravuthz 6 years ago from Cambodia

Excellent information. Thank you so much for sharing your story. We all need to know. More importantly, you provided the guide book.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

vrajavala, Thanks for sharing your comment.

Katrinasui, I am glad you are enjoying my hubs and I am glad to have you as a fan. Thank you for your comments.

daravutz, I very much appreciate your comments.

brandrocker profile image

brandrocker 6 years ago

Amazing insight into this very complicated topic. What I have learned so far is that you need to ensure intake of lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet plan to ensure regular supply of antioxidants. You have guided me towards a more specific direction. Thanks.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

bandrocker, I am glad this hub was helpful to you and thank you for your comment.s

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Excellent and educational. Learned quite a bit reading this hub thanks so much!

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Susan, I appreciate your comments.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

Thanks so much for this, Pamela! At last, and it is high time, I understand what antioxidants are. Wow! Is the human body, actually the bodies of all living creatures, not an awesome structure? This hub was highly appreciated and voted UP and UP.

Ps.: From now one I’ll definitely eat lots and lots of beetroot! :)))

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Martie, I am glad this hub helped you understand. I very much appreciate your comments.

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Well written. Oxidation can be compared to metal rust... Thanks for sharing...

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Dallas, Yes, I used rust as an example to help people understand the process. Thanks for your comments.

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

I always learn something new when I read your work. Voted up and useful.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

POP, Thank you so much for your comment.

Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

What an excellent hub, well research, well written, with all the props to help you understand the issue here. Really Pam, this is so good, and people are now in maybe the past five years about the body & food. For people that we called health nuts, they have been doing most of this since the hippie days. Great piece of work, I love you my dear friend, Merry Christmas love & peace always, darski

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Darsky, It is amazing that I used to think those people were nuts also and they were right all along. Thanks so much for your sweet comments. Love you to Darsky. I hope your holidays will be merry!

Amber Allen profile image

Amber Allen 6 years ago

Hi Pamela

Although I knew antioxidents were good for me I didn't know why until I read your hub. Green tea is also a good source of antioxidents. Rated up!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for excellent information. I have leanred a lot from it. Have a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year.

akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Good points to make, Pamela - I think in this day and age, we need all the antioxidants we can get! Happy holidays!!!

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Ambrer, Yes, I drink green tea once or twice every day. Thanks so much for your comment.

Hello, I'm glad you liked the hub and thank you for your comment. I wish you and yours a lovely Christmas also.

Audry, I think you are right. Thanks so much for your comments. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Beautiful hub Pamela. This is one to bookmark for sure. I'm 61 years old. I've been a cyclist for 40 years. I've been injured by auto vs bike accidents. I have back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, arthritis head to toe, etc. But I pretend to race bikes still. But headaches and a lot of other aches can be caused by inflammation and anti-oxidants help hold down inflammation. Getting these various anti-oxidants from various sources must be the way to go. I live alone and seldom cook. I'm a serious creature of habit. I take separate supplements for nutrients. I live a lot on whey protein shakes with "spirolina" which gives me some "green" food. I eat a lot of spinach and blueberries. I get by a great salad bar often. Health food store type salad bars often have a bigger variety of veggies. I use frozen fruits more than others because few fruits are available that are grown locally. I save on gas, driving to get fresh fruit daily, and it's easy to keep frozen fruit over fresh. So, we have to work around our situations but we do need the right fuels for the times we're living in. Our air suffers as well as water and food. So we need more of these anti-oxidants. Absolutely! God bless Pamela!

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Mickey Dee, It sounds like you are making some great choices without cooking. I have arthritis also and I have noticed if I eat any processed meat I have more pain the next day. I am trying harder to stick to all things healthy. Thanks so much for your sharing your experience. God Bless you also and have a very Merry Christmas.

PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 6 years ago from USA

I have been trying to get as much antioxidant foods and vitamins as I can lately.(getting older) This a very in-depth and informative hub, Thanks Pamela. Voted up!

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Phoenix, I am doing the same thing and age does have an impact on my views. Thank you so much for your comments.

ahbless profile image

ahbless 6 years ago

This an extremely helpful site. I eat lots of varieties of fruits and vegetables and I drink various juices. Too many people don't have variety in their diets which leads to vitamin deficiencies.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

ahbless, I agree with you completely. Thanks for your comment.

rpalulis profile image

rpalulis 6 years ago from NY

Great hub Pamela99 I agree antioxidants are key to optimizing our overall well being, which is why I take Krill oil to help supplement my antioxidant intake.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

rpalulis, Thanks so much for your comments. I think I will check out Krill oil as I don't know too much about it.

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 6 years ago from Canada

Wow, wow, wow!!!! Very interesting and useful and one I will definitely bookmark. This comes at a great time because my husband and I have vowed to eat healthy in the coming year! I used to eat healthy, but lately have been getting sloppy. My husband? First time for him! So, this will be something I refer to in my menu planning for this year.

Also ... I found the part about the pasta and vinegar fascinating! I do find pasta to be too heavy, but the whole grain type is a good carb. This would help to make pasta easier to eat, and less heavy. If I was to put into a sauce, would that work, or would it have to be fresh?

Thanks again for such an excellent hub!

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

praireprincess, I'm glad this hub is helpful to you. I guess the sauce on the pasta would be okay if it is a light sauce. Thanks so much for your comment and good luck with your new diet.

Glemoh101 profile image

Glemoh101 6 years ago

Thanks Pamela for your helpful hub and i think you need to write other hub on free radicals and its effect on human health.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Glemoh, I plan to write some more in the future. Thanks for your comments.

Glemoh101 profile image

Glemoh101 6 years ago

I'm exciting and waiting for your hub about free radical, take your time to make it , Thanks.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Glemoh, I have been working on hubs for the contest at the present time but do plan to get back to writing on healthy diets including free radicals soon.

Margaret 5 years ago

Really lovely Hub Pamela, great work.

I love how 'readable' it is, which makes learning about the antioxidants so much more enjoyable. The details about anthocyanin were particularly interesting to me, as I'd not come across that term before (or indeed its benefits).

Thanks for a great Hub.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Margaret, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate your comments.

conradofontanilla profile image

conradofontanilla 5 years ago from Philippines

Vitamins have a lot of hydrogen in their molecules. Hydrogen is the easiest to break into its components of one electron and one proton. Therefore, its electron is the easiest to grab that is why it is the favorite of free radicals and reactive oxygen species that have at least one unpaired electron. Thus fruits and vegetables stabilize free radicals that are oxidants. One reason fruits and vegetables got the label antioxidants.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Conrad, Thank you for that great explanation. I appreciate your comments.

PiaC profile image

PiaC 5 years ago from Oakland, CA

Thank you for this Hub. There was a surprising number of fruits here that I had not realized that anti-oxidant power. And I love the tip about balsamic vinegar in pasta mixes to reduce blood sugar. But I think those photos may be of radishes, while the text describes beets?

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

PiaC, I'm glad the hub was helpful. Thank you for your comments.

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