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Antioxidants, the latest health wunderkind, are amazing little nutrients
and enzymes that inhibit the potentially harmful (but inevitable) process of cellular oxidation. You don't have to understand all the science to know they're incredibly good for you, with everything from anti-cancer to anti-aging benefits. The problem is that this label does not have a formal definition. When you see "packed with antioxidants," it usually means that the food was either made with something that once had antioxidants in it—like fruit juice used for coloring cereal—or that the food was fortified with some vitamins. Unfortunately nutrients extracted from food don't have all the health benefits of nutrients eaten in their natural state.
Avoid it: Whole fruits and vegetables are the best sources of antioxidants—and are easy to recognize.
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