Oxidative stress is a fact of life. It’s estimated that our bodies’ cells are “hit” by free radicals up to 10,000 times a day, every day. What causes oxidative stress? Daily living – breathing, eating, exercise, and exposure to environmental toxins.
The biochemistry of oxidative stress boils down to an unpaired electron. Anti-oxidants prevent oxidation and protect the cells by easily giving up an electron in a manner that doesn’t cause a reaction or damage to the body’s cells.
As we breathe, we take in oxygen which our cells require. Our cells then naturally produce unstable molecules as a by-product, and these are known as 'free radicals'. When these free radicals are not stabilized they can cause oxidative damage to our cells and DNA (similar to the oxidative damage rust causes to metal, or the browning of a cut apple).
How Antioxidants Reduce Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress also occurs from exposure to tobacco smoke, the sun, poor diet, animal and transfats, pollution, drugs, toxins, herbacides, body trauma, and some medical tests and procedures such as x-rays, surgeries and chemotherapy. Antioxidants protect cells by stabilizing free radicals, thus preventing and repairing the damage that they can cause.
Without enough antioxidants via a healthy diet and supplementation, then over time health problems can occur such as heart disease, macular degeneration, diabetes and cancer. Antioxidants have been shown to enhance our immune defences which may in turn lower the risk of cancer and infection. Recent studies have shown that 5 or more servings of antioxidant rich fresh fruit and vegetables may reduce the risk of stroke by up to 25 percent.
Antioxidants are abundantly found in brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, as well as in nuts, grains, and some meats, poultry and fish. The antioxidant-rich Mediterranean Diet provides a wide variety of antioxidants to protect the body. High quality nutritional and antioxidant supplements also support our bodies’ cells.
Try adding a great tasting superfood drink to your diet.X-Balance superfood makes a delicious, nutritious chocolate milk drink for adults and kids -- tastes so good your kids will want to drink it everyday -- and they should!
Enjoy some of these recipes which have been shared by readers of Stresstonics. These recipes use foods rich in antioxidants. We welcome your favorite recipes, tips, and techniques. Bon Appetit!Spinach Pie