Antioxidants are man-made or natural molecules that fight free radicals in your body. Free radicals are volatile compounds that naturally form when you exercise or when your body converts food into energy. You can also be exposed to free radicals from your environment, from cigarette smoke, sunlight, or air pollution. Free radicals can cause ‘oxidative stress’ which can trigger cell damage, leading to various diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and neurological conditions. Antioxidants can prevent or delay cell damage and, in turn, play a role in preventing these diseases. Fruits and vegetables are the primary sources of these nutrients in the human body.
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