Anti-oxidants are important for proper body functioning. If the body's oxidation processes are out of control, that state can cause or worsen a host of illnesses from arthritis and fibromyalgia to heart disease and atherosclerosis; it has been shown to have correlative if not causative roles in the mental processes including mild problems like simple depression to serious issues of Alzheimer and chronic neuro-degeneration. Oxidation also plays a role in mutating DNA, great for evolution perhaps, but also a leading cause of cancers.
 Natural sources of anti-oxidants
- Some vitamins — specifically, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and beta-carotene (a precursor to Vitamin A) — are antioxidants.
- Lower calorie diets create less oxidation, naturally, and so require less anti-oxidants.
- Fruits, especially berries, are generally high in anti-oxidants and low in cost.
 Unnatural sources of anti-oxidants
- BHA and BHT are antioxidants used as preservatives to keep fats from going rancid. According to alternative medicine and vegan woo-promoters, these ones are bad because they're "not natural".
 The pitch, the sale, and the woo
One of the biggest sellers in the skin care market are those that contain "antioxidants" to help prevent aging. These are typically part of lotions, ointments and other goops applied to the skin, which suffer from "a paucity of controlled clinical trials in humans examining the role of antioxidants in preventing or decelerating skin aging."  Like many other wonder drugs to prevent aging, they are often extremely pricey for what they provide.
 Hip fruits
There is always some trendy fruit from some exotic local that is jumped on by the health food industry as "a good source of antioxidants." These include goji berries, açaí berries, and the new-to-market amala fruit. These pop up in teas, wonder drinks, and capsules: all pricey, none better than common (and far cheaper) raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries.