DermTV - Do Sunscreens with Antioxidants Work [DermTV.com Epi #335]
But as vital as oxidation is, it can also have some negative effects on the body. During the process of oxidation, highly unstable substances called free radicals are produced. These free radicals react with other molecules in the cell by stealing their electrons and turning them into free radicals like themselves.
In recent studies, purple berries (such as Elderberry and black currant) are considered as the richest antioxidant foods. However, raspberries, cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries are also good antioxidant foods that are rich in proanthocyanidins which help prevent cancer and heart disease. Broccoli Another excellent antioxidant foods are green leafy vegetables.
In fact, Vitamin C might even provide some protection against loss of sight associated with cataracts in older people. So far the most promising of all antioxidant supplements is Vitamin E, especially when it comes to working against heart disease. People who eat more foods rich in Vitamin E tend to have reduced risk of heart disease.
The reason that free radicals are highly reactive is that they lack electrons, which cause them to be highly unstable. To achieve maximum stability, free radicals therefore steal electrons from other molecules around them and in so doing, destroy the cell membranes and weaken the cell. Free radicals cause a chain reaction of "electron stealing" because the minute they start taking away electrons from other molecules, those molecules become free radicals themselves.
According to their findings, the overall best sources of antioxidant fruits under the berry category are dog rose, sour cherry, blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, crowberry, blueberry, and black currant. Under the antioxidant fruits category are pomegranates, grape, orange, plum, pineapple, lemon, dates, kiwi, Clementine, and grapefruit.
But for the sake of those who have only just stumbled on the term, free radicals are those unstable chemical substances that are highly reactive and are by-products of the process of oxidation in the body. Free radicals at a minimum can be good for the body since their function is to steal electrons from atoms of other molecules, but only if the molecule they're stealing the electrons from are foreign molecules in the first place.