An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction involving the loss of electrons or an increase in oxidation state. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals. In turn, these radicals can start chain reactions. When the chain reaction occurs in a cell, it can cause damage or death to the cell. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates, and inhibit other oxidation reactions. They do this by being oxidized themselves, so antioxidants are often reducing agents such as thiols, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), or polyphenols.
Below 7 Most Antioxidant-Rich Foods:
“All beans are healthy, but brightly colored beans pack the biggest health benefit,” says Ruggiero. “Research shows the antioxidants in beans may protect you from heart disease and cancer.”