Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Killing those free radicals!!!

Ok, I'm a sucker for anti oxidants! I love the thought of them killing the free radicals in my body, and keeping me from ageing. Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd  number of electrons and can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. Once formed these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction, like dominoes. Their chief danger comes from the damage they can do when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane. Cells may function poorly or die if this occurs. To prevent free radical damage the body has a defense system of antioxidants. Free radicals can also result in cancer, so its not just a superficial thing.

Anti Oxidants are a molecule which slows down the oxidation of other molecules, and oxidation is the process which creates free radicals! However, its good to bear in mind that studies have shown that excess consumption of anti oxidants can actually have a detrimental effect.

Ok, science bit over!! Actually, it was really interesting researching this topic, and found that this site explained it best.

The main causes of Free Radicals are:


The increased amount of oxygen used during vigorous exercising causes more free radicals to be formed, and although regular exercise is beneficial to your general health, an increase in dietary antioxidants may be called for.

Food additives
Food additives are added to improve the shelf life and stability of processed and smoked foods, but these are not "body friendly".

Food preparation
When you are cooking food it may increase the amount of free radicals in the body, especially so when frying foods.

When exposed to abnormal ozone levels, your normal metabolism may not be able to cope with the extra free radicals caused.

Unless your foodstuffs are totally organically grown, and pests controlled by natural means, pesticides and herbicides are used on the crops. Ingesting these pesticides causes more oxidative stress in the body and should be neutralized by enough antioxidants being available in the diet or through supplementation.

People living in any metropolitan area are exposed to pollution, and if you regularly commute in traffic jams or live near any industrial areas, your body is exposed to even more harmful air particles, and supplementation of antioxidants should be considered.

Modern day lifestyles and competitive job related stress is also a contributing factor to excess free radicals circulating in your body.

If you are regularly exposed to sunlight, especially to ultra-violet radiation, or if you are going to be exposed to sunlight for any length of time, for instance sunbathing, skiing, yachting etc it is best to supplement your diet with extra antioxidants.

Tobacco smoke
Any smoker, and that includes people living with smokers who may inhale secondary smoke, should look at supplementing their diet with vitamin C. Although some people would contend that this is excessive, you should look at supplementing your diet daily with 25 mg of vitamin C for each cigarette smoked.
Keep in mind that although extra vitamin C would be beneficial, it is still best to take antioxidants in a combined formula.

Normal magnetism fields, created in our environment should be handled by diet, but if exposed to extra X-rays you should consider supplementing your diet.

So, which are the best anti oxidants, and where can I get them??!

Vitamin C - citrus fruits and juices, green peppers, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, kale, cantaloupe, kiwi, and strawberries.
Vitamin E - nuts, seeds, vegetable and fish oils, whole grains (esp. wheat germ), fortified cereals, and apricots. 
Vitamin A - (retinol)  is present in liver, egg yolk, milk, butter, spinach, carrots, squash, broccoli, yams, tomato, cantaloupe, peaches, and grains.

Ok, so thing product that made me want to write this blog post is green coffee...So, we all know green tea is really good for you, high in anti oxidants etc...Well, green coffee claims to have the same benefits. When I googled green coffee to get a link, there were so many claims that it helps you lose weight too...!!

Ok, it doesn't have the best taste...It tastes like bland coffee but hey if I'm getting more naturally occurring polyphenol antioxidants in my body, then it can only be a good thing right?! (Well, I hope!) Also, it tastes much better than green and white tea!!

So, green coffee, green tea and white tea are all really good. However, I've heard that berries, especially red & purple berries are really good for us...why?! For example, One cup of strawberries contains over 100 mg of vitamin C, which, as we've learnt, is a anti oxidant. The pigments that give berries their blue and red colours are also good for your health. Berries contain phytochemicals and flavonoids that may help to prevent some forms of cancer. Cranberries and blueberries contain a substance that may prevent bladder infections. Eating a diet rich in blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries and strawberries may help to reduce your risk of several types of cancers. Blueberries and raspberries also contain lutein, which is important for healthy vision.

Hope you guys found this as interesting as I did!!

Love from MyFrostedWorldXXX

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