Understanding Antioxidants

Understanding Antioxidants

Antioxidants – just a buzzword or do they make a real difference to our health? First, we need to understand what antioxidants are protecting ourselves from: free radicals.  

Our body is constantly under attack from viruses, bacteria, lack of food as well as free radicals. In high levels, free radicals are capable of damaging our DNA, cells and trigger a number of diseases. Antioxidants on the other hand, neutralize these free radicals and in healthy doses, protect our body from oxidative stress.  

What are free radicals? 

 Free radicals are the by-product our body creates as they process food and react to the environment. They are unstable atoms and play an important role in many normal cellular processes. However, if their levels are too high, free radicals can damage cells leading to oxidative stress. Too much oxidative stress leads to the breakdown of cells, damaging DNA, causing wrinkles, age-related issues, and illness. 

Where do free radicals come from? 

The production of free radicals can be increased by internal factors such as our metabolism and inflammation, or external factors such as pollution, cigarette smoke, high sugar levels, alcohol consumption and UV exposure. 

What are antioxidants? 

Antioxidants are molecules that prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals or other unstable chemicals in your body. 

Your body produces ‘endogenous antioxidants’ to keep our free radical levels in check, however we also rely on food to obtain the rest of the antioxidants we need. Fruits, vegetables, and grains are rich sources of dietary antioxidants, alongside dietary supplements. 

Studies show that people who regularly eat antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, and legumes have a significantly lower risk of oxidative stress-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancers. However, the evidence is not clear if in fact the protective effect is due to the antioxidants present or other substances in these foods, or a combination of both.  

What are the top antioxidant nutrients?  

 Vitamin C 

Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant found in oranges, broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, grapefruit, leafy greens, sweet potato, peas and papaya. 

Vitamin E  

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant which protects cell membranes from oxidative damage. It’s present in avocado, leafy greens, almonds, peanuts and sunflower seeds. 


Flavonoids are plant compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Food’s high in flavonoids include berries, red cabbage, onions, kale, parley and tea. 


Antioxidants in 45+LIFE Energy 

Vitamin E, vitamin C 


45+LIFE Energy has been specifically developed for adults 45 years and older. It combines key vitamins, minerals and nutrients for energy production so you can stay on top of your game. 

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