Antioxidants Explained

          So I’ve written a couple blogs that have mentioned the beneficial effects of antioxidants.  Thanks to your feedback, I’ve decided to dedicate a blog to explaining what exactly antioxidants are, why they’re beneficial, and how you can acquire them through your diet.

           To begin, it’s important to know that because of oxygen, our atmosphere is highly reactive.  This means that the air we breathe is both good and bad for us.  So we can thank oxygen for life, however, we can also thank it for producing many of the diseases which ultimately lead to death.  Fortunately, we have antioxidants to help counteract many harmful oxygen-induced effects.
            When we take a breath, a very complex set of chemical reactions take place in our bodies which enable us to produce and store energy.  During these processes, however, a small amount of oxygen is converted to a toxic form that is damaging to our cells.  Without getting too scientific, these “oxygen radicals,” as they are called, cause damage by stripping electrons and hydrogen atoms from neighboring molecules in our cells.  This is where the beauty of antioxidants comes into play!  Antioxidants are chemicals that donate electrons and hydrogen atoms to hungry oxygen radicals, thus sparing our cells from their harmful effects.  Without antioxidants, we would be much more prone to cancers, heart attacks, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, and other ailments.  I suppose you can think of antioxidants as chemicals that sacrifice themselves for the sake of our health.
            While your body has evolved its own set of antioxidant defense systems, it’s important to supplement this by consuming foods high in antioxidants.  Below is a list of some antioxidant-rich foods.  Remember that processed foods generally contain fewer antioxidants and that organic fruits and vegetables tend to have higher antioxidant levels than those that are conventionally grown.

Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Orange-Colored Food:
  • Carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, oranges, mangoes, pumpkin, and apricots
Dark-Green, Leafy Vegetables:
  • Spinach, collard greens, kale, broccoli, dandelion greens, and turnip greens
Redish-Colored Food:
  • Tomatoes, blood oranges, grape fruit, berries, watermelon, cherries
  • Milk, eggs, almonds, blueberries, grains, peas

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                                                                                    -Shahir Masri


  1. I find this information very interesting. I was never aware that breathing oxygen had a downside to it. Now I am aware that eating an antioxidant rich diet is not just helpful but necessary for our health. Antioxidants a very important and we cannot even think about living without them. With the list of vegetables that were provided, I am now aware which vegetables have the most antioxidants. This is a very good to thing to know the next time I consider eating. Your blog proved to be very enlightening!

  2. I found this article absolutely interesting. I also never knew oxygen that you breathe can harm you in anyway, so my question is, is there any kind of way to stop the chemical reaction of the oxygen that we breathe in to harm us? I also like how you gave a lists of antioxidant foods, that'll be very handy in the future!

  3. Wow I found this article very interesting! I did not know that oxygen could be considered something harmful! Also the list you've created of the antioxidants is very helpful and I can take this into consideration whenever I eat something!

  4. I found this article really interesting. I know that we would breathe in oxygen,but i would have never thought that it was harmful. I am really thankful for the act of antioxidants, beacause without it humans including myself would be in higher risk to have cancer and other serious diseases. Now that I know this and know how to prevent, by looking at the list of different things I can eat. Overall, thanks for this interesting information that I did not knew and for the list, for many of us can prevent this and eat more things that contain antioxidants.

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