Antioxidants are special class of micronutrients (the term “micronutrient” means that only miniscule amounts are required to provide essential support for vital metabolic functions). Antioxidants block harmful chemical reactions caused by oxidation – the destructive effect of oxygen and other oxidizing agents on the molecular components of cells. Vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and carotenoids are examples of antioxidants found naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Plants, which are foods high in antioxidants, are also rich in phytonutrients that act as antioxidants, including catechins, found in green tea; resveratrol, found in red wine; and curcumin found in turmeric. In addition to getting antioxidants in our diet, our body makes some of its own, such as coenzyme Q10.
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