Those annoying crow's feet at the corners of your eyes? Or those laugh lines around your mouth? Sure, these things are but part of the normal aging process. But what causes aging anyway? And is there anyway to retard it? In biological systems, the normal processes of oxidation are what lead to aging. Scientists have linked free radicals to the development of degenerative diseases, causing massive cell damage that ultimately results in various disorders, such as cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, heart disease, and much, much more. By neutralizing free radicals, antioxidants actually prevent the onset of these diseases and at the same time keep the body healthy and strong. " Believe me, your mom is not out to torture you by making you eat veggies you hate. There is actually a scientific reason to this. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like cabbages, cauliflowers, and Brussels sprouts are great antioxidant foods. They help prevent cancer and ward off heart disease. Because of this function, herbal antioxidants are said to play a role in the prevention and potential cure of various degenerative diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, and several others. If there is one other thing you need to know about herbal antioxidants, it is that they are not naturally found in the body. Because it is the nature of free radicals, which is basically an atom with an unpaired electron, to achieve stability, they will try to do so by capturing the needed electron from other molecules. When the free radicals steel electrons from a stable molecule, that molecule will become a free radical itself, beginning a chain reaction. Free radicals are blamed for even the simplest of illnesses, such as colds. There is an increasing body of evidence that oxidative stress is linked to many diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, neurological disorders, cataracts, and arthritis. Our strongest defenses against these harmful free radicals are antioxidant vitamins which are contained in the foods that we eat.