Slow Aging by Reducing the Damage from Free Radicals
When the body metabolizes oxygen approximately 1-2% of cells will be damaged in the process – these damaged cells are what are known as “Free Radicals”. They are considered damaged because they are missing a critical molecule and are dangerous because they go on a quest to obtain another molecule – and they will take that extra molecule any place they can get it. While taking or attacking other cells to get that molecule they damage the DNA of the “victim” cell and create a breeding ground for disease and put the aging process into over-drive.
While free radicals are unavoidable and happen naturally, there are many things you can do to avoid or reduce your exposure to them. Some examples are:
- not smoking
- avoiding polluted areas
- wearing sunscreen
- eliminating processed foods from your diet
- filtering your water
The most effective way to combat free radicals is to ensure your body has plenty of antioxidants to neutralize them and the damage they do.
Antioxidants are chemicals (both naturally occurring and man-made) that can prevent or slow cell damage or oxidation caused naturally and by free radicals. Think of how you use lemon juice to prevent an apple or avocado from turning brown after it has been cut – this same process happens in your body when you consume or produce an adequate amount of antioxidants.
Unfortunately, the naturally occurring antioxidants that your body produces are often not enough to fend off the number of free radicals in the body. It is necessary to turn to supplements and increase your consumption of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables to get the necessary amount of antioxidants.
According to WebMD the foods with the most antioxidants are:
Look at your diet and the supplements and talk to your doctor to see if you should increase your intake to help slow down the effect free radicals are having on the aging and health of your body.