What do Antioxidants Do?
Reactive oxygen species. Free radicals. Oxidative Stress. It’s all in the same boat.
Oxidative stress refers to the imbalance between free radicals and their stabilizing agent’s antioxidants. The imbalance being that there’s too much oxidative stress and not enough antioxidants to keep it under control. The real problem is oxidative stress breeds more oxidative stress.
Mind you, oxidative stress when produced in low amounts as it a by-product of normal cellular activity, can actually be used productively by other systems in the body. When it’s in excess though, it can cause premature ageing and DNA damage… and the sad thing is, that this is very often the case for individuals living in the 21st century.
Since we are our cells, that ageing is the same ageing we talk about when we discuss our body age or metabolic age. Have you ever met someone who picks up heavy smoking and suddenly they look 10 years older? That’s because this phenomenon is happening for them at a dangerously high rate and their cells are physically dying much earlier than they would in an otherwise healthy individual.
Increased oxidative stress has also been implicated in conditions like ageing, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and inflammatory diseases.
How do I reduce Oxidative Stress?
You can either:
Reduce the trigger e.g. worry, nutrient deficiencies, pesticides (eating non-organic foods), alcohol, medications, drugs, fast foods, air/water pollution, carrying excessive body weight, and other chronic inflammation OR
Increase your soldiers that defend you against the oxidative stress; Antioxidants!
My advice would be …do both!!
Antioxidants are stabilising agents which mean they ‘settle’ the cell down. They do this by donating the electron that has gone missing from the perimeter of the oxidised cells that like to stay in pairs. Therefore, when a cell is ‘oxidised’ this simply means it is missing a paired electron. When antioxidants are there in big supply, they will drastically reduce the overall oxidative stress. This is why whenever we read blogs or magazines about anti-ageing increasing your intake of antioxidants ALWAYS come up.
Where do I get Antioxidants?
Most whole foods are FULL of antioxidants. I’ve provided a list below for you of different types od sources of antioxidants. Generally though, the more whole foods and organic foods we eat, the more we reduce our oxidative stress.
Vegetables especially cooked tomatoes, onion, garlic and green leafy vegetables
Fish and seafood
Green Tea is a fantastic antioxidant too
Supplements: particularly Alpha Lipoic Acid and N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC).
Dee Zibara Adv.Dip.Nut.Med.ANTA Nutritionist
Please contact me if you have any questions via firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 366 342.