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With the widespread interest in diets and the variety of healthy eating options, more and more people are discovering dietary buzzwords such as antioxidants. Teas, drinks, and supplements apparently contain these compounds, and keto, gluten-free, and traditional weight-loss diets all urge adherents to consume foods high in antioxidants. But what are they, and are they as essential as we're led to believe?

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1. What Are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are a family of compounds that prevent oxidation in the body. There are both naturally occurring antioxidants and man-made ones. Fruits and vegetables are rich in these compounds, and many supplements contain them. However, like many natural and synthetic products, nutritional experts generally consider the former preferable. Naturally occurring antioxidants do not appear to have negative side effects, while supplements can.

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