What are Antioxidants? | All You Need to Know about Antioxidants
What are Antioxidants

What are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are simply soldiers in the body fighting against harmful oxidation. They prevent or slow down the damage caused in the tissues. So first let us understand the process of oxidation in the body.


Whenever our body experiences some kind of stress or inflammation within the tissues, unstable oxygen species get formed like superoxide, peroxide and hydroxyl ions. These radicals combined are classified as free “reactive oxygen species” or ROS. They are formed due to external environmental pressures or other stress conditions. Their prolonged presence causes a lot of damage within the cells that is harmful to important biomolecules like DNA. This causes the cells to send out signals that either lead to many serious diseases or cell death.[1] Some of the implications of long-term oxidative stress by ROS include-

  • Lower Immune System
  • Cardiac problems
  • Muscular degeneration
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Faster aging and wrinkles
  • Parkinson’s Disease

Well, don’t worry yet. Our bodies are already well-equipped to handle some of the preliminary damage in the body by using endogenous antioxidants like glutathione and catalase. Exogenous natural antioxidants also play a huge role in warding off the stressful environment.[2] One can easily get all the required phyto-antioxidants through a well-balanced diet comprising of a colourful palette of red, green, orange, purple and yellow.

What are Antioxidants Good for?

Few common examples of phyto-antioxidants are listed below [3]

  • Vitamin C (Fruits/Vegetables, citrus fruits, red bell pepper)
  • Vitamin E (Nuts and Seeds)
  • Lycopene (Pink/red fruits, tomatoes, watermelon)
  • Lutein (Green leafy vegetables, papaya, orange)
  • Selenium (Whole grains like rice and wheat, legumes, nuts)
  • β-carotene (Carrots, mangoes, pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach)
  • Zeaxanthin (Bell peppers, saffron, spinch)
  • Polyphenols (Most plant-based foods)

You could always have some dark chocolate or green tea for more antioxidants. Some minerals and B vitamins are also found in meats like salmon and chicken although the quantity is much lesser in comparison to fruits and vegetables.

Definition of Antioxidant

Some reasons for the cause oxidative stress are mentioned below that you could avoid [4]

  • Smoking
  • Excessive exercise
  • Consumption of processed foods, artificial dyes, sweeteners, additives
  • Pollution
  • Radiation
  • Chemical Exposure

Antioxidants are nature’s way of keeping us fit and healthy. Therefore everyday diet choices are crucial for maintaining our bodies at their optimum best.

So make prudent and informed decisions about your diet. DailyTabTM Nutrition Team wishes you the best of health and a fit body.

DailyTabTM– Nurture a better you!


[1] H. Sies. Strategies of antioxidant defense, European Journal of Biochemistry 215 (1993) 213-219

[2] E. Birben, U. M. Sahiner, C. Sackesen, S. Erzurum and O. Kalayci. Oxidative Stress and Antioxidant Defense, World Allergy Organization Journal, 5 (2012) 9-19

[3] H. Wang, G. Cao and R. L. Prior. Total Antioxidant Capacity of Fruits, J. Agric. Food Chem. 44 (1996) 701−705

[4] J. Mates, C. Pérez-Gómez and I. N. De Castro. Antioxidant enzymes and human diseases, Clinical Biochemistry 32 (1999) 595–603

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