Definition: antioxidant means "against an oxidant".
Oxidants are chemical compounds or substances that take an electron out of an atom. The atom with the now-missing electron now goes looking for the electron needed to stabilize it anywhere it can.
This is important because that oxidant â€” called a free radical â€” can move around your body at will, and can cause tissue damage to your arteries and veins, as well as cancer and aging related diseases if there are enough atoms missing an electron in your body.
Antioxidants come from plants and put the ripped-off electron back in the atom! That is, antioxidants, fill in the missing electrons. You’ll find antioxidants in substances such as vitamin E, vitamin C, or beta carotene, thought to protect body cells from the damaging effects of oxidation.
Caveat Emptor â€” let the buyer beware: An example of an oxidant is canola oil having been heated as in cooking or used in baking.
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