Antioxidants are chemicals that interact with and neutralize free radicals, thus preventing them from causing damage. Antioxidants are also known as “free radical scavengers.” Our body produces endogenous antioxidants used to neutralize free radicals. However, the body also relies on external (exogenous) sources, gained from the diet, to obtain all the antioxidants it needs. Exogenous antioxidants are also known as dietary antioxidants.
Fruits, vegetables, and grains are rich sources of dietary antioxidants. Further antioxidants can also be obtained through dietary supplements. Examples of which include beta-carotene, lycopene, vitamins A, C, and E (alpha-tocopherol).