You know antioxidants are an important part of any healthy diet. You’ve also heard about the potential health benefits of hemp. As you look around for ways to enhance your healthy lifestyle, you may find yourself wondering: is hemp an antioxidant?
Before we answer that question, let’s get clear on what antioxidants are and why your body needs them.
WHAT ARE ANTIOXIDANTS?
Without getting too deep into the chemistry, an antioxidant is any substance that can help remove oxidizing agents to prevent them from damaging your cells. Oxidize just means to bind with oxygen. This happens when an oxygen molecule goes looking for an electron to complete its structure. Okay, that was a little bit of chemistry, but we’re almost done.
Rust is an example of oxidation at work. The oxygen binds with the molecules in the iron and begins to break down the structure of the metal. Oxygen molecules in your body can cause similar problems, stressing the body, and leading to dysfunction. They’re called free radicals.
Although we need oxygen to survive, too much in the wrong place can cause cell damage and all kinds of health effects. Extensive research over the last 20 years suggests that free radicals may play a role in cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Fortunately, antioxidants grab wandering oxygen molecules before they can attach to cells and structures in your body.
Vitamins like C and E are natural antioxidants. They also show up in foods like dark chocolate, blueberries, and kale. The plants themselves aren’t antioxidants, but they do contain this vital substance. Hemp is one of those plants.
Although we need oxygen to survive, too much in the wrong place can cause cell damage and all kinds of health effects.