What are antioxidants and why are they so important?

Chances are you’ve heard of antioxidants at some point and you understand that they’re good and healthy for you. But most people don’t understand what antioxidants really are and what they consist of.


The fact is, antioxidants play an instrumental role in your body’s ability to maintain homeostasis. Antioxidants help us fight free radicals and maintain our best health. Here’s what you need to know about antioxidants and why they’re so important:

Where Can You Find Antioxidants?

Plant pigments called carotenoids, vitamin C, and vitamin E are all antioxidants that can help your body stay healthy. Plant-based foods are excellent sources of natural antioxidants, and some of the most antioxidant-rich plants include most types of berries, cabbage, kale, beans, and spinach. The nutrient-rich superfoods don’t just give you a handful of antioxidants, but are also chock full of other vitamins that you can benefit from.

Free Radicals

Antioxidants are instrumental in protecting your cells against molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that consist of unpaired electrons. Because of this, they attempt to achieve equilibrium by stealing cells from other electrons, which can contribute to diseases and cause further damage to the body.

Free radicals are produced in your body naturally when your system attempts to break down food, when inflammation occurs in the body, or when you’re exposed to radiation or smoke from tobacco.

Oxidative stress occurs when your body cannot remove free radicals efficiently. Oxidative stress is linked to immune deficiencies, respiratory diseases, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, cancer, and more.

Oxidatives stress is constantly occurring in the body — at different rates for everyone — impacting your DNA, cells, and proteins. Ultimately, antioxidants help to neutralize the free radicals roaming about in the body.

Antioxidant Therapy

The most efficient way to get antioxidants is by having a lifestyle overhaul and dietary change, and incorporating natural antioxidants into your daily diet. However, there are some instances where you need to reboot and recharge, and one way to do this is through antioxidant therapy sessions.

Typically, this is done through IV injections, which allow antioxidants to flow quicker through your bloodstream and hasten its healing properties. Always do your research before you choose a practice that focuses on antioxidant therapy and similar services to ensure you’re getting quality care and aren’t creating any imbalances in your body.

What to Know About Antioxidant Supplements

Though antioxidants are certainly essential in contributing to an overall healthy body, this doesn’t mean you should rush to fill yourself with antioxidant supplements. While antioxidants play a role in optimal health, there are also potential risks associated with too much antioxidants.

Your body requires a delicate balance of vitamins, and as such, you should avoid high-dose antioxidant supplements and focus on foods that are rich with antioxidants instead. Furthermore, some supplements can have a negative interaction with certain medications. For instance, people taking blood thinners may be at a higher risk for bleeding when they’re taking high doses of vitamin E.