Free radicals are unstable atoms that can damage cells, causing illness and aging.
Free radicals are linked to aging and a host of diseases.
As the body ages, it loses its ability to fight the effects of free radicals. The result is more free radicals, more oxidative stress, and more damage to cells, which leads to degenerative processes, as well as “normal” aging.
You can avoid sources of free radicals by incorporating healthy foods.
Keep in mind that free radical content is high in nutrient-poor meals and those deficient of antioxidants.
Here are a few ways to avoid free radical sources ...
Avoid high glycemic foods, or foods that are rich in refined carbohydrates and sugars. They are more likely to generate free radicals.
Limit processed meats such as sausages, bacon and salami. They contain preservatives, which leads to the production of free radicals.
Limit red meat. It is particularly more vulnerable to oxidation because of its high iron content.
Don't reuse cooking fats and oils. Heating fats and oils during cooking oxidizes them, generating free radicals which seep into our foods.
Limit alcohol. Alcoholic drinks not only are high in calories but also can produce free radicals in the body. Try to limit your drinks to one or two per day.
Eat foods rich in antioxidants, chemicals that inhibit the oxidation of molecules by neutralizing free radicals, thereby stopping them from causing cellular damage. Antioxidants are found in a variety of plants in the form of vitamins A, C and E, selenium and certain phytonutrients and polyphenols. Cranberries are loaded with them!
Look for foods with β-carotene, lycopene and lutein, including broccoli flowers, alfalfa sprouts, Brussels sprouts, carrots, collard greens, corn, mango and tomatoes. These foods can be incorporated into several side dishes such as vegetable medleys, casseroles and salads.
Consider fruit for dessert instead of rich pies and cakes. Apples, cantaloupe, cherries, grapefruit, kiwi, papaya, red grapes, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries are delightful on their own or when mixed to create lovely fruit salads.
Grab some nuts – always plentiful at the holidays – and other foods rich in vitamin E, such as sweet potatoes.
Plant metabolites called flavonoids also demonstrate antioxidant functions.
Some versatile antioxidant-rich flavonoids include onions, eggplant, lettuce, turnip greens, endives, pears, red wine, parsley, citrus fruits, berries, cherries, plums, legumes, soybeans, milk, cheese, tofu and miso.
Enjoy antioxidant superfoods, those with high levels of more than one vitamin. These are prunes, plums, raisins, blueberries, cranberries, figs, oranges, pomegranates, sweet red bell peppers, beets, kale, spinach and dark chocolate.
Try herbal therapy – in your food! Many spices can not only enhance the flavor of our holiday turkeys and hams but also reduce oxidative stress.
These include ginger, grape seed extract, ginkgo, rosemary and turmeric.
Take time for tea. When the evening comes to an end, you can revel in a gentle and soothing cup of warm green tea and be comforted in knowing that the polyphenols in your brew also combat oxidation.
Here are a few Supplements to assist in detoxification and antioxidants ...
Amino D-Tox™ is a perfect addition to any detox program. It’s great for anyone who wants support for Phase II detoxification pathways, and may even be used in preparation for an intensive detoxification/cleansing protocol.
Glutathione: the body’s master antioxidant and free-radical scavenger, aided by glutamine & NAC
N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) is an amino acid that is a precursor to glutathione, the body’s most powerful antioxidant, which helps promote optimal detoxification. NAC is heavily researched for its role in optimizing lung health, and is also used for rapid recovery after workouts.+0 It is also beneficial for protection against normal exposure to heavy metals.