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Antioxidants is a collective name, often used for substances such as vitamins E and C, trace elements such as selenium and zinc and bioactive substances such as flavonoids in fruit and vegetables. 
These substances can help against oxidation damage to cells or tissues and thus possibly in the long term against diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Oxidation is a process in the body in which aggressive substances, called free radicals, damage body cells. 

Free radicals
The aggressive substances, rendered harmless by antioxidants, are called free radicals. They arise during the normal metabolism, but especially during smoking and sunbathing. Many free radicals can also be formed in certain diseases, such as inflammatory reactions. The body also uses free radicals to defuse unwanted invaders, such as bacteria. Oxidation occurs when the body's own antioxidant capacity fails.


In what products can you find antioxidants? 
Antioxidants are also used as an adjuvant (preservative) in food production and can be recognized as E-numbers on the label. 
Among other things, they are added to prevent fats from becoming rancid due to oxidation of carboxylic acid. And to prevent the browning of products that contain fruit. 

The most important permitted antioxidants in foods are: 
* vitamin C 
* salts of ascorbic acid (E 300 to 304) 
* various vitamin E compounds (E 306 to 309) 
* E 310 to 319

Mainly vegetables, fruits (pomegranate, berries) and nuts, but also red wine, tea and chocolate contain antioxidants. Important antioxidants in the diet include vitamin C, vitamin E, chromium and zinc. Nowadays, antioxidants are also added to products, such as yogurt drinks, because of their positive health effects.