The terms “free radicals” and “antioxidants” get tossed around a lot, but many people do not really understand what they are and what they do. We know that for the most part, free radicals are bad and antioxidants are good, but what are their actual roles?
What are Free Radicals?
Free radicals are atoms that have either too many electrons or not enough electrons. Being unstable, they try to obtain electrons from other atoms, or get rid of extra electrons, causing damage to cells, proteins and DNA. Continue reading “Fight Free Radicals With Antioxidants”
Found in many yellow, orange and red fruits and veggies, carotenoids are a class of compounds related to vitamin A. The carotenes include beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
Beta-carotene, often used in place of vitamin A for supplementation, is converted to vitamin A in the liver when your body needs it. The beta-carotene that is not converted still has antioxidant power. It protects the body against free radicals which cause damage to cellullar genetic material, causing cancer. Beta-carotene has also been shown to protect the body against environmental pollutants and other substances that lead to aging.
Lycopene is a carotenoid that functions as an antioxidant for the prostate gland and has been shown to help lower the risk of prostate cancer. Continue reading “Antioxidant Power of Carotenoids”