The term "antioxidant" refers to a group of compounds that can counteract unstable molecules called free radicals. These molecules can cause damage to important parts of cells, such as DNA and cell membranes. Free radicals are unstable because they lack a full complement of electrons, causing them to steal electrons from other molecules and cause damage in the process. Antioxidants work by neutralizing free radicals, which involves sacrificing some of their own electrons. This process acts as a natural "off" switch for the free radicals and helps break a chain reaction that could otherwise affect other molecules and cells in the body. However, it is essential to understand that the term "antioxidant" describes a chemical property rather than a specific nutritional property.