Free radicals are formed when atoms in your body have an odd or unpaired electron. Since atoms tend to a stable state they try and fill the missing electron either by filling its outer shell with an electron or by bonding with another atom to share its electrons, thus achieving stability. When weak bonds spilt, a free radical is formed. Free radicals attempt to pair with the nearest molecule or take an electron from the molecule. This can start a domino effect resulting in the disruption of a living cell. Your bodies exposure to pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke and herbicides can generate free radicals.
Your body reacts to the formation of free radicals by generating antioxidants. The role of antioxidants is to stop this chain reaction of free radicals. Your body needs Vitamin E, Vitamin C and beta-carotene to generate anti-oxidants. These Vitamins are typically found in vegetables, milk, citrus fruits, nuts, seeds, and fish oils.
Ensuring that you get your daily dosage of Vitamins especially C, E and beta-carotene helps your body fight free radicals.