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Free radicals are linked to health and longevity

free radicals and the aging process - machotips

Every self-respecting man is interested in topics like health and longevity. Along with them go the discussions about ORAC scores, free radicals, antioxidants and oxidative stress.

Maybe you’ve heard that foods with antioxidants prevents the damage or the free radicals, which are responsible for the aging effect on your mind and body. This leads to the questions “Where free radicals come from?” and “Why are they bad for you?”

Where do free radicals come from?

Due to factors like lots of incoming toxins or poor nutrition, your immune system gets overloaded, the antioxidant levels in your body are lower than the levels of the free radicals. This makes the aging processes occur more rapidly. To understand why and how the free radicals appear you have to take a look at your diet and lifestyle habits.

Free radicals: “uncharged molecules having an unpaired valence electron”

By definition free radicals are “uncharged molecules having an unpaired valence electron”. They can cause a lot of damage, although researches show that their production within our body is not entirely bad or abnormal.

Beside the stimulating of the ageing processes they also play essential role in our immune system. They are result of our metabolism of foods, breathing and some other vital functions.

For example the white blood cells send them to destroy viruses, bacteria and damaged cells and the liver uses and produces the free radicals for detoxification purposes.

Are free radicals dangerous?

You will ask: “Why the free radicals are considered to be dangerous?”. Well, because of the fact that they are unstable molecules. They are always looking out for chemical components that other cells have. Basically they are on the lookout for cells from which day can “steal” what they need.

This way they can damage good cells and tissues. They harm and age our body which means changes in our DNA, enzymes, membranes etc. The result of their actions in our body is also know as oxidation. Its amount in our body is a measure of oxidative stress, which effects every organ in our body and it is believed to be the cause of the development of the chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

How to lessen the impact of free radicals?

Our bodies use antioxidants to fight the free radicals. Eating the “right” foods helps this process. For starter eat more foods rich in antioxidants like:

  • Grapes, berries and red wine ñ they are high in antioxidant like resveratrol. Berries lower the sugar in our blood, as well.
  • Cocoa – surprising but true. It contains a lot antioxidants, even more that black tea, green tea and red wine. Make sure that the dark chocolate or the cocoa you eat is more than 65% and has been minimally processed.
  • Colorful fruits and vegetables like: carrots, squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, citrus fruits, tomatoes, red peppers, etc.

In conclusion we can say that we are what we eat. Our lifestyle effects our body. Make sure you eat healthy, exercise and try to keep the balance between everything.

References

  1. Free-radical theory of aging – Wikipedia
  2. Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health – NCBI
  3. What Are Free Radicals? – Livescience.com