Antioxidants and Free Radicals Explained – Protection, Prevention & My Favorite Supplement
Free radicals are produced by our body and can cause chronic disease and illness. They occur when oxidation takes place: when exposure to oxygen causes atoms to separate, resulting in unpaired electrons. These free radical cells will “steal” electrons from healthy cells causing those cells to become unhealthy free radicals as well.
When this happens it’s called oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is the root cause of many diseases including heart disease, diabetes, aging, cancer, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and eye disease (to name a few).
And the more oxidative stress your body has the more free radical damage that results.
Enter our hero—antioxidants.
Antioxidants are awesome as they’re one of the first lines of defense to keep free radicals in check and to slow (and in some cases prevent) them from causing a domino effect that would surely damage other cells.
Typically, free radicals largely outnumber antioxidants and so we need to have a consistent balance of antioxidants entering our body to combat free radicals.
When there aren’t a lack of antioxidants the following happens: antioxidants give electrons to unstable free radical cells so they don’t have to steal electrons from nearby healthy cells; they also prevent oxidation from occurring in the molecules of our body.
It’s very interesting: the different antioxidants (that come from a variety of plant-based foods as well as some grains) actually benefit different parts of the body. Any compound is considered an antioxidant if it can donate an electron and reverse free radical damage (there are thousands of different antioxidants).
An ideal example is the manner in which beta carotene provides nutrition to the eyes while lycopene helps provide optimal prostate health for men.
Antioxidants even improve memory problems as well as mood disorders.
As stated earlier, fresh fruits and vegetables are a good source of antioxidants (as well as whole grains) but because so many of us aren’t eating healthy enough an antioxidant supplement is not only needed but is an essential safeguard for our overall health.
Roughly five years ago, I began taking an antioxidant supplement and I rarely ever get sick—maybe once a year at the most—if at all.
Though I must mention going overboard on antioxidants is not usually a good idea (never exceed the recommend dosage unless instructed to do so by a doctor).
Having said that, it’s essential to consume antioxidants as we age because the older one gets the more dietary antioxidants one needs to combat free radical damage.
Although some free radical damage can be largely avoided through healthy living choices (such as not smoking, not sunbathing/tanning, or partaking in excess alcohol consumption), hazards such as air pollution, exposure to toxic substances and radiation are all a part of living in modern day society and one can’t get away from them.
Our only option is to get free radicals out of our bloodstream by consuming antioxidants!
The antioxidant I trust is packed full of high-quality ingredients including (but not limited to): turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, pomegranate, glutathione, goji berry, grape seed, green tea, SOD, acai, orac root, and the all-important resveratrol.
It’s also vegan and 100% organic.