There has been a lot of hype surrounding antioxidants. Many of us have heard that they are central to a healthy life. Our bodies produce antioxidants naturally but often . Dr. Oz, who has appeared on Oprah and is famous for his own TV show, even stated: (“Antioxidant”) not only help fight disease, but they can help turn back the clock, too. Read on to find out.
What are Free Radicals?
Free radicals are molecules that are generated naturally in our body. Our body produces free radicals as a byproduct when we digest foods and when we exercise. Free radicals are not only produced by our body, they are also found in the environment such as tobacco smoke, pollution and radiation and in the foods we eat. Free radicals can threaten our health as it may play a role in causing cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses.
What is Oxidation and Oxidative Stress?
Some may have heard of the term “oxidative stress.” Oxidative stress is often cited as the cause of cancer. As such, it is vital to learn what we can do to prevent or lessen this harmful process. Before we can understand what oxidative stress is, it is imperative to learn about oxidation.
Oxidation produces free radicals. Oxidation occurs when the body naturally metabolize glucose and the oxygen we breathe to make energy. The process of oxidation also occurs when our body cleanses the pollution and cigarette smoke in the air we breathe. Chronic or emotional stress, smoking and alcohol can increase oxidation.
When our body undergoes oxidation more than normal, it produces more free radicals. Our bodies are also able to produce antioxidants naturally, which can prevent free radicals from causing damage to our cells, proteins and DNA. Oxidative stress is when the amount of free radicals in our bodies exceed the levels of antioxidants.
Signs of Oxidative Stress
There are ways to determine if you bodies are experiencing oxidative stress. Symptoms associated with oxidative stress include brain fog and/or memory loss, headaches, worsened eyesight, wrinkles, grey hair, muscle and joint pain. You may also be prone to infections or have a weakened immune system. Other common signs of oxidative stress is chronic fatigue, insomnia, anxiety and Alzheimer’s disease.
How to Protect Yourself From Oxidative Stress
As you’ve read earlier, exposure to stress, alcohol and cigarette smoke can increase oxidation. Stress is inevitable in life. However, it is essential that we take time in our daily life to destress and decompress. Some of the easiest ways to do so is to enjoy nature, exercise regularly, partake in meditation or yoga, journaling or spending time with close friends and loved ones.
Oxidation is also elevated when our bodies have to fight infections like the common cold and flu. As our immune system focuses its energy on fighting an infection, it creates oxidation. This causes our bodies to be lethargic and weak. To limit oxidation, it is a good idea to avoid catching a cold by washing your hands often, maintain a nutritious diet and to work out regularly.
Another way oxidation level rises is when our bodies process sugar and chemicals in the environment and in food. Thus, limiting our exposure toxins and reducing sugar intake would reduce oxidation. Restrict your sugar intake by swapping sugary treats for healthier snacks and avoid adding sugar in your daily coffee and tea. When shopping for groceries, opt for organic alternatives and avoid environment that exposes you to exhaust fumes, chemicals and toxic products such as the nail salon.
How Antioxidants Protect Us
While taking the steps above can be helpful in minimizing oxidative stress, infections, stress and exposure to toxins are truly unavoidable. This is why the best bet to limit oxidative stress is to boost the antioxidants in your body. Antioxidants can protect our cells from the oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants essentially prevent oxidation.
Foods Rich in Antioxidants
You may have heard dark chocolate and green tea are rich in antioxidants. While this is true, bell peppers, fresh berries and dark leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach also contain high amounts of antioxidants. Other antioxidant-loaded foods to add to your diets include citrus fruits, watercress, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, parsley, carrots, sweet potatoes, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pomegranates, red and white wine, black tea, oregano, cinnamon, lentils and nuts.
Supplements Containing Antioxidants and Supplements that Support Antioxidants
Supplementing your diet with an antioxidant blends or supplements could also ensure the levels of antioxidants in your bodies are optimum. One that we love is EllagiPlex by Exsula Superfoods, which contain watercress, turkish rhubarb root, red clover flowers, turmeric, astragalus, ginger, cayenne and an array of dark green leaf juices of barley, alfalfa, parsley. It is also packed with carotene-rich sea plant such as chlorella, spirulina and coral minerals. EllagiPlex also boasts a healthy serving of 120 mg of Co-Q10 or Coenzyme Q10, which is an antioxidant in mitochondria and lipid membranes in the body and has been shown to improve heart function, prevent heart disease and hypertension (high blood pressure). Implement the steps above and add EllagiPlex to your life to limit oxidative stress in your body!