Your body is made up of trillions and trillions of individual cells.In every cell is a furnace called the mitochondria. The mitochondria burns fuel from your food and oxygen but often a rogue molecule is created called a free radical, which is essentially just a molecule with an unpaired electron . This charges the molecule and if its not neutralized quickly by an antioxidant, it can cause severe damage to the cells and tissues of your body. A basic analogy of what is happening would be to take a fireplace burning wood at home.The fireplace represents the mitochondria,the wood represents the fuel or food. Now as a fire place is cranking out heat,sparks are produced and they jump out onto the carpet. These sparks are the free radicals and the carpet is the body's tissues. If left unchecked the carpet will be damaged and eventually will catch fire and before you know it the house has burn't down. Now looking at your body you may say" hey i'm fine I feel great " but you have no idea what kind of free radical damage is taking place every second of every day on the carpet we call our body.
So the answer is to place a kind of fireguard around the fireplace to nullify the effect of the free radicals.These are called antioxidants and they are found only in the fruits and vegetables we eat.
So if you can get the optimal amount of these antioxidants then you can prevent the damage to the cell which is where almost all the health challenges of western society are taking place according to the latest scientific research.Today we live in a very toxic environment compared to our grandparents era,things like polution ,stress ,radiation,dirty water and dirty air and even polutants in many of the over processed foods we are eating have allowed free radicals to increase many times over.
Add to that the fact that only 1 in 8 Americans are getting more than 7 plus fruits and vege servings per day you can see that free radical stress has gone up sharply,and antioxidant protection has come down dramatically. Its thought that your grandmother had more antioxidants in 1 day than you now have in 1 week. Pretty scary I think. So this gap that's been created has been linked to the onset of heart disease,cancer,stroke and many many other chronic degenerative diseases we are currently plagued by.As its just about impossible to get all the nutrients you need from a so called balanced diet today it appears prudent for all adults to be taking a good quality nutritional supplement to keep the bodies pantry full so it can take what it needs,when it needs it.
Even the American Medical Association has taken this stance of recent years .So you can see how much emphasis is now put on free radical stress by the medical fraternity, who by and large have been too sceptical to pull their heads out of the sand until quite recently.