Oxidation is the cause of Free Radicals, this happens when an electron is knocked out of a chemical bond.
These highly reactive free radicals will interact with and damage healthy molecules. Oxidative stress occurs when the destructive power of free radicals spreads from one cell to surrounding cells inflicting widespread damage.
There are oxidation factors in our daily lives, such as poor diet, stress, pollution, and aging. Oxidation also increases disease risks, like cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases. Antioxidants can reverse the effects of oxidation, by way of antioxidation.
An antioxidant is essentially the exact opposite of oxidation, in that antioxidant molecules have electrons to spare. Once an antioxidant and a free radical come in to contact, the antioxidant will supply the free radical with an electron, thus repairing the chemical bond and returning stability to the molecule.
With the prevalence of oxidation factors, it is very important to supply your body with a reservoir of antioxidants.