Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals which can play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other conditions. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage about how antioxidants work, where they come from, why they are beneficial, and much more.
What are antioxidants?Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Many experts believe this damage is a factor in the development of blood vessel disease (atherosclerosis), cancer, and other conditions. You are exposed to free radicals: Through by-products of normal processes that take place in your body (such as the burning of sugars for energy and the release of digestive enzymes to break down food).When the body breaks down certain medicines.Through pollutants.Antioxidants include some vitamins (such as vitamins C and E), some minerals (such as selenium), and flavonoids, which are found in plants. The best sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables. You can find flavonoids in fruits, red wine, and teas. You can also buy antioxidant supplements.One study showed that using vitamin A, E, and beta carotene supplements may increase your risk of premature death.1 Further study is needed to look at the effects of these antioxidants as
Super Foods for Optimal Health
Adding antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables to your daily diet will strengthen your ability to fight infection and disease. WebMD explains.
Heart Disease and Antioxidants, Vitamin E, and Beta-Carotene
Find out what you need to eat to make sure you get plenty of heart-healthy antioxidants.
Black Tea: Health Uses and Risks
WebMD explains the protective benefits and the risks of black tea.
Blackberries Are a Fruit Full of Fiber and Flavor
Blackberries are bursting with fiber and flavor. They should be one of your go-to fruits.
Pecans: Antioxidant-Packed Nuts
tasty tree nuts make for a popular pie filling, but they’re also a top source of antioxidants and may lower cholesterol. Get the nutritional facts on pecans and a healthy recipe.
Vitamins and Antioxidants for Your Skin
No magic pill can restore youth, but some vitamins and supplements can help improve the health and quality of your skin.
Do Omega-3s and Antioxidants Fight Cancer?
How omega-3s and antioxidants relate to your cancer risks.
The Health Benefits of Tea
It doesn't take all the tea in China to reap its health benefits--about three cups a day will do you.
The Truth About Coffee
Can the secret of good health be found in a cup of joe? Not completely, but research is showing it's a good start.
Dark Chocolate: Heart-Healthy Benefits
Could chocolate be good for you? We knock down the myths about chocolate and explore its heart-healthy benefits.
Functional Foods and Their Benefits
Functional foods contain additives that go above and beyond meeting your basic nutritional needs.
Slideshows & Images
Slideshow: Improve Your Immunity
When your immune system is strong, you have a better chance of fighting off colds and other infections. Read these tips to strengthen your immunity.
Slideshow: Eating for a Long Life
Slideshow: Foods for Healthy, Supple Skin
Want softer, supple skin? The skin care nutrients in this WebMD slideshow can help your skin stay healthy -- from the inside out.
Slideshow: 12 Powerhouse Veggies You Should Be Eating -- Now!
12 vegetables that pack a particularly big nutritional punch. Plus, ideas to prepare them.