Why Are Oxidants Bad?

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, oxidants are bad because they damage cells. Living Healthy 360 goes on to explain that this damage occurs because molecules that are oxidized lose electrons and become free radicals, which in turn oxidize other molecules.

Living Healthy 360 states that oxidants are bad because they change the chemistry of cells, making free radicals. These free radicals are unstable, reactive and damaging to other chemical components and systems of the body.

However, Living Healthy 360 points out that there are ways to mitigate the damage of free radicals and oxidants. The answer to oxidants are antioxidants, which inhibit oxidation. While oxidation causes molecules to lose electrons, antioxidants donate electrons, which stabilize the free radicals. One source of these antioxidants is the human body itself. It naturally produces antioxidants to repair the damage done by the natural process of oxidation. Certain foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are also great sources of antioxidants.

WebMD provides a list of foods rich in antioxidants. Legumes boast some of the most antioxidants. Small red beans, for example, have more than 13,000 antioxidants per serving. Red kidney beans, pinto beans and black beans are also in the top 20 antioxidant-rich foods. Fruits are also a great part of an antioxidant diet. Wild blueberries have nearly as many antioxidants per serving as red beans. Cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and prunes are also in the top 20. Other foods include artichokes, pecans, potatoes and apples.