Tea World

Lesson 3

What are Free Radicals?

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Free radicals are formed when weak chemical bonds split. As molecules, free radicals are unstable and seek stability by adding an electron. It does this by attaching a stable molecule, rendering it unstable in return. Consequently, there is a cascading effect which has damaging effects on the cell. Free radicals are produced during metabolism but their function is to work as part of the body’s immune system. Their unfavorable effect comes from the fact that environmental pollutants, radiation and so on also proliferate free radical production.While the body can respond to normal levels of free radicals,in excess it needs the support of antioxidants.

How do Antioxidants Combat Them?

Antioxidants are those substances that prevent oxidation .They fight and reduce free radicals and prevent some of the damage they cause to our cells, including cancer and heart disease. Environmental pollution in urban living has created an above-normal range of free radicals that the body is unable to combat. So, food rich in antioxidants are necessary to make up for this deficit.  Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants and so is tea. In fact, tea is thought to have more antioxidants than fruits and vegetables.Green tea has at least 8-10 times the polyphenols found in fruits and vegetables.

 

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