Antioxidants and Free Radicals
Veterinarian Reviewed on February 23, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Antioxidants and Free Radicals
Antioxidants’ main function is to prevent our cells from getting damage. Whenever one cell gets damage it becomes open to cancer, and other different diseases, that’s why we need to eat foods that is rich in antioxidant elements.
What is damaged cell? How does it occur? These damaged cells are also known as free radicals. This occurs when a group of atoms or an atom becomes free or it doesn’t have partner or is not properly paired with the necessary electrons that it need. There are actually a proper number of electrons that a single atom needs. And if an atom is composed with the necessary electrons then it can function well inside our body, but if an atom doesn’t have enough electrons, our cells become prone to some variety of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases. This is the reason why we merely need antioxidants because it prevents us from acquiring free radicals.
We can find antioxidants in foods that are rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, and vitamin E. So, all you have to do is properly add foods that are rich in these micronutrients in your diet.
Let’s take a look on foods that are rich in antioxidants.
- Vitamin C – It is also known as ascorbic acid. This micronutrient is commonly seen in citrus fruits and vegetables, usually in forms of juices. Orange, calamansi, strawberries, and lemons are some examples of fruits rich in vitamin C. Spinach, broccoli, and cabbages are some examples of vegetables that are rich in vitamin C. If you are someone who rarely eat vegetables, then you can at least drink a glass of fresh fruit juice everyday to sustain the needs of vitamin C of your body.
- Beta-carotene – This micronutrient becomes vitamin A when being absorbed by our body. Foods rich with beta-carotene are grains, spinach, animal liver, carrots, egg yolk, and butter. This doesn’t have antioxidants, but it can help your body to prevent in obtaining free radicals.
- Vitamin E – This micronutrient is present in nuts, cereals, fish and vegetable oils, and in apricots.
Eating the right dietary food, especially those food rich in antioxidant, will prevent you from having free radicals. Keep in mind that we are not only eating just to fill in our stomach with foods, but we are merely eating because we know that eating the right foods will grant us a healthy body.
If you think that taking more exercise a week will help you burn those fats that you want to burn is good to your overall health, then you are wrong with that. Excessive exercise will only create more free radicals. This is due to the large amount of oxygen that keeps on entering in our body whenever we are running, lifting, and dancing. If you want to take more exercise, then you have to be more cautious with your diet. Eat more antioxidant rich food to compensate the antioxidant needs of your body during your work out. You can take some antioxidant supplements, but it’s always better to ask your physician first.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan