ok, so we keep hearing about antioxidants and how they are so good for you. but do you really know what they are? here's a good definition that i found from wisegeek.com:
"Within the human body, millions of processes are occurring at all times. These processes require oxygen. Unfortunately, that same life giving oxygen can create harmful side effects, or oxidant substances, which cause cell damage and lead to chronic disease.
Oxidants, commonly known as "free radicals," are also introduced through external sources such as exposure to the sun or pollution. Other mediums include stress, as well as things that people put into their bodies, such as alcoholic beverages, unhealthy foods, and cigarette smoke.
In much the same way as oxidation creates rust, causing a breakdown on the surface of inanimate objects, oxidation inside the body causes a breakdown of cells. Free radicals produced by this breakdown attack healthy cells, usually DNA as well as proteins and fats. This chain of events weakens immunological functions as well as speeding up the aging process, and is also linked to several diseases such as cataracts, various forms of cancer, and heart disease."