As we breathe, our bodies take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide, along with molecules called free radicals, resulting in oxidation. These free radicals work on the insides of our bodies like air works on a piece of metal left outside, causing it to rust over time. While this is a necessary, natural process, the damage inflicted on our cells can be slowed down by eating foods with antioxidants.
Molecules of free radicals are unstable because they need one more electron to complete their outer shell. They are constantly seeking another molecule to grab its electron in order to stabilize. When they do this it creates a chain reaction-as one molecule stabilizes, another becomes unstable and this natural process breaks down the inside of our bodies. Curcumin in turmeric like other antioxidants can slow down this process by neutralizing these molecules.
Antioxidants like curcumin hunt down free radicals and stabilize these molecules. If a chain reaction has already begun, antioxidants can stop it. Thus, this degenerative biological process in our bodies can be decelerated and turmeric is a good dietary source of antioxidants.