Free radicals are very reactive molecules that reproduce a response to the environmental toxins and cellular actions in your body. This is typically a result of energy production in your mitochondria that happens when you burn your food as fuel.
But what are mitochondria? Well, in short, mitochondria are the vital engines in nearly every one of your cells that produce over 90% of the energy currents in your body. These energy currents are known as ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This is your body’s biochemical way to store and use energy.
Two Different Types of Antioxidants You Need to Fight Pesky Free Radicals
Antioxidants provide your body with built-in protection against free radicals and help you neutralise and keep them under control.
Your body needs both types of antioxidants because each one targets different types of cells and tissues for free radical scavenging:
- Lipid-soluble antioxidants — These are localised to cellular membranes and lipoproteins. They protect cell membranes from lipid peroxidation. Examples of lipid-soluble antioxidants include vitamins E, A, beta-carotene and astaxanthin
- Water-soluble antioxidants — These are present in aqueous fluids, such as blood and intracellular and extracellular fluids. They react with oxidants in the cell cytosol (fluid portion of cytoplasm) and the blood plasma. Examples of water-soluble antioxidants include vitamin C, glutathione, and catechins
The bottom line: to fight and help neutralise pesky free radicals, you need both types of antioxidants from as many sources as possible. When taken together, the efficacy of lipid and water-soluble antioxidants is enhanced even more.
Why Eating Grapes May Not Be the Best Way to Get Resveratrol
Resveratrol is one of your best water-soluble antioxidant sources, but what's the best way to make sure you consume enough of this antioxidant?
You see, the skin and seeds of the grapes provide you with the most potent supplies of antioxidants, not the fruit itself.
The meat of the fruit contains sugary fructose that can raise your insulin levels. And of course you can't really ingest the skins without eating the fruit inside, too!
As for grape seeds, most people don't like to eat them as they tend to be tough and have a somewhat bitter taste. And some grape processing actually removes the seeds prior to distribution at your local store.
This is why Dr Mercola developed Purple Defense: to allow everyone to take advantage of these amazing wholefood benefits, without the drawbacks of consuming huge amounts of grapes and blackcurrants.