Antioxidants are an essential component in the body's defense arsenal. They are used to fight free radicals that contribute to the pathophysiology of illness and premature aging. Free radicals can be harmful to the body if not cleaned out swiftly.

It’s important to ensure that our body has adequate amounts of antioxidants, particularly during cold and flu season. Antioxidants are found in foods as well as being produced in the body, and they are absolutely critical for health and wellbeing.

Interestingly antioxidants were initially studied in the 19th and 20th centuries for their ability to prevent metal corrosion and the fouling of fuels in combustion engines. The study of antioxidants in the human body is a relatively new approach to disease prevention and treatment.

The first antioxidants to be discovered were vitamin C and vitamin E, by Henry A. Mattill who fed whole foods to animals and found that they lived longer. We can measure the antioxidant content of foods and supplements by using the FRAP (ferric reducing ability of plasma) analysis test.

In this article, we'll explore what antioxidants are and how they work in the body; as well as taking a look at the most potent antioxidants.