Free Radicals Antioxidants:
Sense of Free Radicals and Antioxidants
Dr. Ben Kim
to popular belief, free radicals are not entirely bad for your health. Free radicals,
by definition, are reactive elements that want to steal electrons from compounds
that they come into contact with.
vast majority of free radicals that exist in your body at any given moment can
be traced back to one of the following sources:
metabolic pathways that occur in your body to produce energy
toxins, such as industrial pollutants, household chemicals, and cigarette smoke
stressors, such as unhealthy oils, food preservatives, and the wide variety of
chemicals that are found in almost all highly refined foods
radicals inflict damage upon other compounds by stealing electrons from them,
which initiates bouts of inflammation that can lead to scar tissue formation.
For example, if enough free radicals steal electrons from the inner wall of one
of your blood vessels, the resulting inflammation can lead to hardening of the
vessel wall, which can cause compromised blood circulation in that area of your
as free radicals can damage your tissues, they can also damage viruses, bacteria,
and harmful substances that make their way into your blood; in these instances,
free radicals act as important parts of your immune system, and serve to protect
the health of your tissues.
radicals that are formed inside of your cells via everyday metabolic processes
are important to your natural defense mechanisms. These free radicals help to
neutralize toxins, destroy waste products, and protect your tissues against harmful
radicals become a significant cause of disease when you produce them in excessive
quantities and/or are exposed to large amounts from the environment. When your
body is bombarded by excessive free radicals, you have a higher risk of developing
a variety of degenerative diseases - including cardiovascular disease and many
types of cancer - due to the damage that free radicals can inflict on tissues
that they come into contact with.
found in fresh, minimally processed foods are helpful to your health because they
are able to provide the electrons that free radicals want. Once free radicals
are neutralized by antioxidants, they become harmless, and are eventually eliminated
from your body.
are some practical notes on how to prevent free radicals from significantly compromising
hydrogenated oils, fried foods in restaurants, and highly refined foods - all
of these foods are typically rich in free radicals. If you aren't sure about how
to choose healthy oils, please feel free to read our guide
to choosing healthy oils.
charcoal-grilled meats and animal products that have been cooked at high temperatures
- these foods are also abundant in free radicals.
plenty of fresh vegetables, such as romaine lettuce, celery, bell peppers, carrots,
and tomatoes. Fresh vegetables and fruits are rich in natural antioxidants that
can neutralize free radicals in your body.
your life circumstances permit, drink fresh
vegetable juices on a regular basis. Freshly pressed vegetable juices provide
a wide range of nutrients, including antioxidants, that are easily absorbed into
your bloodstream. To optimally support your blood sugar level, emphasize the use
of greens like romaine lettuce, kale, and celery, and use only small amounts of
sweet vegetables like carrots and red beets. Consider using a high
quality super green food product if you don't have time to make vegetable
juices on a regular basis.
fruits that are rich in antioxidants, such as blueberries, pomegranates, raspberries,
blackberries, strawberries, cherries, goji
berries, papayas, mangoes, watermelon, and olives.
overeat. Since free radicals are produced by your regular metabolic activities,
overeating results in excessive free radical formation in your cells; these free
radicals can spill out into your blood, and eventually damage your tissues.
you try to minimize the negative impact that free radicals can have on your health,
don't forget the importance of acquiring restful sleep and striving to be emotionally
balanced; a well rested body and a balanced nervous system are two of the most
important requirements for a strong immune system that can protect your health
against excessive free radicals.
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