Antioxidants -Free Radicals
Antioxidants for Health
It seems like you hear about antioxidants every where you go. I see that word on labels all over the grocery store, even on makeup and it is talked about on TV quite frequently. Dr. Oz and The Doctors have emphasized the importance of antioxidants to live a healthier life and how each one helps prevent diseases.
Action of Antioxidants and Free Racicals
The Way Antioxidants Works
When we breathe in oxygen and it combines with our red blood cells (RBCs). Sometimes these oxygen molecules are hit by radiation and they break apart. The result is a singlet oxygen which only has one of its electrons remaining. Oxygen is not stable in this form and attempts to steal an electron away from a nearby molecule or donate its remaining electron to a nearby molecule. They have a charge on them due to an excess or deficient number of electrons.
They try to scavenge or donate electrons to surrounding tissues which can in turn damage the tissue. If DNA is involved, the problem intensifies and genetic cell mutations may occur which is one theory as to the cause of cancer. They can change the DNA, sometimes permanently. Free radicals may even play a bigger role in the formation of cancerous cells by a “chain-reaction” effect, causing other cells to become damaged.
Free Radical Exposure
Free radicals are not only produced inside out bodies, but they are also ingested through smoking, eating certain food, air pollution, x-rays, extended exposure to the sun and a variety of other poisons we are exposed to in our environment. Blood vessel damage that leads to heart disease with plague buildup is thought to occur due to free radicals. Cancer, some degenerative eye damage, old age and other inflammatory diseases are believed to be byproducts of oxidation.
How Antioxidants Work
Antioxidants, just as the name implies, are able to block this process. Typically when we think of oxidation we think of rust, but this same process happens in our bodies. Think how an apple looks if you cut it in half and let it sit for a while. It turns brown, but if you cut it, then soak it in orange juice for several minutes it won’t turn brown, due to the vitamin C in the orange juice. In the same way vitamin C protects your skin.
Fruits and Vegetables with Antioxidants
Some of the more important sources of antioxidants which block the process are beans, blueberries, cranberries, pecans and broccoli, but there are many others as well.
- Beans contain phenolic which have13,000 units of this antioxidant power that is measured in food groups, It lowers blood sugar and reduces your risk of cancer.
- Ellagic acid is found in red foods, such as pomegranates, strawberries and raspberries.
- Anthocyanin is found in the deep purple and dark blue foods. Anthocyanin fights heart disease by sucking cholesterol out of the plague. It is in red wine (concentrated), blue berries, purple potatoes, black currents.
- Vitamins A, C & E antioxidants are found in yellow and orange vegetables and fruit.
- Retinol (vitamin A) is found in apricots, cantaloupe, lemons and oranges.
- Vitamin E protects you from the suns radiation.
- Green colored food found in the cruciferous vegetables have Indo 3 Carbinol , which has very potent breast cancer fighting abilities. They destroy free radicals primarily in liver. Some of these vegetables are broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower. You should eat 2 servings per week minimally.
Beets Boost Endurance
Blood flows in blood vessels giving off a little gas called nitrates. Beets and beet juice has a high nitrate content. A research study at Queen May University of London concluded that beets help lower high blood pressure, thus reducing the inflammation causing heart disease and they fight cancer cells from forming and prospering.
Beets may also helps you lose weight as 1/2 cup has 37 calories, 0 fat, little higher in sugar but increased fiber. Besides losing weight, beets will help your sex life as it revs up your libido. Beets also may fight off dementia in the frontal lobe. The greens of beets are also good for juicing. They boost your endurance and cyclist use them before bike riding
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Lemons are good for digestion and a great natural acid, vitamin C fights of H pyloric which causes stomach ulcers, and it also helps with constipation
Try this drink: 1 c water, 1/4 lemon juice, 1 tsp flax seed for stomach disorders and constipation.
To exfoliate your skin use 1 cup milk, 2 tsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp brandy. Paint it on your face for several minutes, then rinse off.
Foods in Combination
There are some food combination that give you more energy.
- Chick peas (iron hard to absorb) and red pepper (vitamin C) helps absorb the peas.
- To improve your mood, eat eggs and broccoli which is a good source of calcium.
- Reduce the calories of pasta by using balsamic vinegar (ascetic acid and slows down glucose and starch pasta) and it slashes the blood sugar by 20%
Antioxidants and free radicals
Oxidative damage plays a huge role in many of our modern-day diseases, such as muscle and tissue degeneration, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, as well as many other health problems. You are exposed to free radicals as a normal bi-product of regular bodily processes, like breaking down the food we eat, taking toxic medicines, and exposure to pollutants. In addition, over-exposure to the sun (sunburn) and smoking can also increase your body’s need to oxidize and create free-radicals. Antioxidants stop this cellular chain reaction of oxidation by neutralizing the free radicals.
The copyright to this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.