Regular intake of fresh fruits and vegetables is recommended in the diet since they are a good source of antioxidants .How do antioxidants help a person maintain health and promote longevity?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2011 Prelims]
(a) They activate the enzymes necessary for vitamin synthesis in the body and help prevent vitamin deficiency.
(b) They prevent excessive oxidation of Carbohydrates, fats and proteins in the body and avoid unnecessary wastage of energy.
(c) They neutralize the free radicals produced in the body during metabolism.
(d) They activate certain genes in the cells of the body and help delay the ageing process.
- Antioxidants are substances that prevent or slow down cell damage caused by free radicals.
- Free radicals are unstable molecules produced by the body in response to environmental and other pressures.
- Antioxidants are also referred to as “free-radical scavengers” and protect against oxidative stress.
- These protective substances can be found in fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods that are plant-based.
- Vitamins E and C are examples of effective antioxidants.