Your body is under oxidative stress from free radicals, and they are everywhere. They're found in the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe and the medicine we take. Regardless of what you do, there is no avoiding them. Fortunately, there are basic and effective methods of fighting against them.
What They Are
Free radicals can be formed by substances from air pollution and cigarette smoke to chemicals and pesticides. WaxHead explains that even UV rays can be a source of free radicals, and as such being exposed to sunlight can create them. Oxygen in your body can split into atoms with a single electron, but electrons prefer to be in pairs. Consequently, such atoms ravage the body seeking electrons to steal. This scavenger hunt can continue into a cascade, and it can cause damage to cells, proteins and DNA. This ongoing degradation is one of the prime reasons our bodies age. Through the use of antioxidants found in vitamins, minerals and food sources, we are able to combat these free radicals and slow down the oxidative stress process known as aging.
What They Affect
Since free radicals have a negative effect on the cells in the human anatomy, the oxidative stress they cause has a deleterious impact on many of the body's vital systems. In addition to aging, they are associated with various diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and hardening of the arteries. They can even injure your skin and damage your hair. When the hair's proteins are attacked, it can lose its shine, thickness and color. Although thinning and graying hair does happen in the majority of the population, it's disheartening, and there are ways we can help slow this process down.
How to Fight ThemThere are many ways we can actively fight free radicals and slow the oxidative stress our cells undergo. A few lifestyle alterations are in order. For example, you would do well to avoid tobacco and alcohol. The next step is to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants. Some of the best foods for this are fruits like berries. When you purchase berries, consider which ones are the most effective. Erbology explains that aronia berries have a score of 16,062 μ mol TE/100g, compared with blueberries at 4,669 μ mol TE/100g and red raspberries with 5,065 μ mol TE/100g in regards to their oxygen radical absorbance capacity.
Deciding to help your cells fight off free radicals is one of the smartest choices you will make in your lifetime. Not only will you be able to live a healthier lifestyle, but you could also extend your longevity. Keep these tips in mind and practice them as you go about your daily routine.