How many times have you heard that "this is high in antioxidants"? One too many times. Antioxidants may by hyped up, but do they get the credit they really deserve in basically, well, saving our butts? Antioxidants are molecules that fight off free radicals, in which are independent molecules that do not have electrons. This makes them dangerous for they can rob our cells of THEIR electrons, causing them to then transform into free radicals themselves. This can trigger disease and illness, all the while depleting the immune system. Conversely, free radicals are always being created in our bodies, yet without a healthy balance of the two, this is when we would see oxidative stress build up in the body, in which can lead to DNA damage. Our bodies do, technically, have their own antioxidant defense mechanism, but this depletes with age and with exposure, which is why it is so important to eat antioxidant rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables and other plant based sources. What causes oxidative stress? Things like pollution, smoking, drinking, poor diet, radiation, infection, over consumption or under consumption of oxygen, mineral toxicity, bodily stress, even over consumption of antioxidants or under consumption. Balance is key. Antioxidants are either fat soluble or water soluble. We need both forms in order to fight off free radicals efficiently, for our cells have are composed of both water an fat. The different types of antioxidants are glutathione, alpha-lipoic acid, CoQ10, resveratol, carotenoids (carotenes, xanthopylls, astaxanthin), vitamin c and vitamin e. Is it really as simple as eating a whole foods plant based diet in obtaining all of these? In all honesty, yes! In the following days I will be speaking of importance of each antioxidants, its sources and functions. Stay tuned!