Plants contain very powerful and life-saving antioxidants. In the human body, oxygen inevitably generates reactive molecules throughout all the tissues of the body called free radicals. These free radicals are dangerous to body cells because they can damage essential molecules such as DNA and the enzymes necessary for proper function of cells. Antioxidants capture these reactive free radicals and safely convert them back to normal. Although the body does produce antioxidant molecules on its own, these work together with antioxidants that are delivered through diet, mainly from fruits and vegetables.
Antioxidants include vitamins, carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and astaxanthin, and flavonoids found in most plants. All these antioxidants are molecules that plants use to protect themselves against environmental factors as solar radiation, heat, toxic chemicals, molds, etc. Antioxidants also protect all life on earth (plants, animals, and humans) against the damaging effects of oxygen radicals, which are always formed in an oxygenated environment.