If one is to read, and not think through the process, then free radicals ( unattached electrons flowing through us) are the scourge of our health. They are blamed on many diseases including most autoimmune diseases, cancers, and a host of other ailments including the inflammatory processes which are responsible for heart attacks, strokes and the sudden death syndromes associated with "weekend warriors".
It is true that unattached electrons are responsible for so many of our health ailments and an over abundance is not productive to staying well. We do need to eliminate the imbalance of free radicals in our body and generally that process is most often described in the choice of foods, or nutrition.
One of our problems is the misunderstanding of what a free radical really is. A free radical is not food, but is what the digestive process does with food. Antioxidants are also what the digestive process does with food and antioxidants also have a similar atomic structure to free radicals with one major exception. Antioxidants do not become free radicals by giving up an electron. A free radical is simply an electron gone wild, or an electron lacking an atom to be associated with.
The damage occurs by having a free electron speed around and disturb other atoms by diverting away an electron from the atom thusly creating a chain of loose electrons in our body that are reeking havoc on what was a healthy system. The prolonged damage is associated with many diseases.
Our body can generally stay in equilibrium balancing antioxidants with free radicals.
On the nutrition side we need to eat foods that provide antioxidants and we need to prepare the foods in such a manner our body does not expend unnecessary energy processing the food in our digestive system for our nutrition. In diseases such as multiple sclerosis we use fresh high antioxidant vegetables, fruits, nuts prepared in a blender to make the food more digestive friendly to help a suffering body repair itself easier.
Generally when we think of antioxidants we really think of foods that are either alkaline or acidic. The difference in these foods is the ability to either give or take an electron however in nutrition, as well as botany, we describe the state as "acid" or "alkaline". That is a more sophisticated statement of the electron state.
We also want to make sure our body does have free electrons as it is proven free electrons have a remarkable ability to destroy living things. Where that is crucial in our own personal health is the destruction of harmful bacteria within. The system that needs the free radicals is our own immune system. The purpose of our immune system is to protect us and one way that is done is by the use of free radicals to destroy harmful bacteria in our body.
It's easy to be overcome by the mantra of the harm of acidic foods but, as with LDL cholesterol which always gets a bad rap, we need LDL as our body does utilize it for maintaining health. Free radicals, like LDL, have to be held in balance and by doing so we stay healthy. It's when we stop electron supplementation to our body that we get sick.