Antioxidants, Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress: What You Need to Know
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules that are anti-oxidation by nature and are crucial for keeping our bodies in a state of healthy balance. When we don't get enough antioxidants in our daily diet through food, beverages and other natural sources we can experience free radical damage, oxidative stress , ageing, ill health and much more.
Where Do We Find Antioxidants?
We get them from the foods we eat, drink, substances we consume (like certain supplements) and from the very earth we walk on (bare foot that is). 😄
Things like beetroot, berries, purple veggies and fruits, cacao are very high in antioxidants but eating a wide variety of all coloured fruits and veggies will give you a good dose of antioxidants.
You can also find these powerful molecules in things like green tea (especially organic matcha), moringa leaves/powder, açai berries, resveratrol and organic baobab fruit/powder.
Perfect Resveratrol contains organic muscadine grapes and are 40 x more potent than other types of grapes so this makes it a wonderful choice when it comes to an antioxidant supplement.
Then we have baobab. Baobab is said to be one of the most powerful antioxidant fruits available on the planet and I guess that's why it's been shown to be incredible for slowing down ageing, improve skin's radiance and improving overall vitality and wellbeing.
Adding in just 2 scoops per day will help you to up your antioxidant game and it can easily be added into water, smoothies, yoghurt and more!
Supplements are not to ever replace a wholesome diet but simply to add in (to supplement) to help fill in the gaps that diet alone may not provide.
People ask me, what do I take and the answer to this is all the things mentioned above but not all of them every day. I love to take the Perfect Resgrape max sometimes as I find it helps me with hormonal balance, I also love to add in Açai powder to a smoothie to increase the good Omega fats and antioxidants.
I also love to add Organic Matchinga (matcha green tea powder and moringa powder) to my smoothies sometimes and babaob I pretty much put in every smoothie these days. Eating a clean, wholefood and organic diet is of the utmost importance to me so I avoid nasty sprays, GMOs and health-damaging glyphosate.
What is Right for You?
It really just depends on your individual needs, budget and lifestyle?
E.g - if you prefer capsules, I would suggest to try the ResGrape capsules or the Açai capsules and if you like powder and tend to enjoy smoothies more often than taking capsules, I would suggest the Organic Matchinga powder and/or the Organic Baobab powder.
Again, it is important to remember that no one (or even 10 supplements) is a magic pill, to be truly healthy with balance, vitality and longevity, one must strive to see their health as the whole picture and some of these areas we discuss in today's blog.
How Do We Become Imbalanced?
Did you know that the mitochondria (the cell's powerhouse) produces the majority of free radicals in the body? 65% of them actually.
The image above is what mitochondria look like, this image is computer-generated
What Are Free Radicals?
Free radicals are unstable atoms that can damage cells when out of balance.
But it's not all bad and you don't have to be completely afraid of free radicals as they do serve a purpose in the body - in the right amount (when balanced), free radicals help to fight off pathogens but when imbalanced (due to producing too many and not enough antioxidants), oxidative stress is produced and this can cause many unwanted problems...
Issues from Free Radical Imbalance/Oxidative Stress
- DNA damage
- Chronic inflammation
- Disease & illness
- Lack of vitality
- Shorten lifespan
- Accelerate ageing (more wrinkles and grey hair)
- Linked to Parkinson's disease
- Vision decline
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Many more issues
So you can see from the above bullet points, free radicals (which lead to oxidative stress) can cause much destruction to our health if we don't keep things balanced with regular consumption of high-quality antioxidants.
How To Get Free Radicals Besides from Mitochondria?
We can accelerate free radical production in numerous other ways such as toxins, pollutants and emotional toxins. Here is a brief rundown...
Toxins: cleaning products, personal care products & cosmetics, certain foods (conventionally-grown fruits & vegetables), beverages (alcohol, sugary drinks, soft drinks), certain pharmaceutical drugs, recreational drugs, cigarettes and e-cigarettes (vaping), tap & some bottled water.
Pollutants: Pollutants are found in the environment (in the air, in some bodies of water, vehicle exhausts, factories, fossil fuels, power plants, pollen, mould spores, dust, bushfires, animal husbandry, chemical air & soil pollution from agriculture (crop spraying), geo-engineering, landfill, burning of waste, manufacturing, noise pollution, radioactive & thermal pollution, EMF pollution (wifi, radio & TV frequencies, 4/5G towers, electronics, computers, phones and smart devices, electrical cabling and more).
Emotional Toxins: negative emotions when chronic or held onto (anger, stress, frustration, resentment, jealousy, depression etc.) can be very toxic to our health and cause free radical generation thus leading to oxidative stress.
Chronic stress especially is very corrosive to one's health so it's vital to find a way to reduce it. This can be challenging in the world and times we are living in but also, it has never been more crucial to get a handle on stress.
By changing the way we perceive stress (believe it or not) can help drastically to reduce and even prevent these feelings and emotions. Practicing mindful awareness, deep breathing, nasal breathing and mediation is also very helpful.
Who is Most Susceptible?
If you live on planet earth you are susceptible to free radical damage/oxidative stressed depending upon your level of exposure to toxins and pollutants and your stress hormone production you'll be at a greater or lesser risk.
There are however, certain groups of people who are even more prone to oxidative stress from free radical damage, so these people should be even more diligent to ensure they get in enough antioxidants and manage diet and stress.
- People with Pyrrole disorder (pyroluria/mauve factor)
- People who have autism
- Elderly people
- People with chronic inflammation
How to Reduce Oxidative Stress
- Reduce stress with meditation, healing negative beliefs & perceptions, healing traumas, changing our perception on events and situations.
- Clean up your diet and what you consume. By looking closely at what we put in our mouths, we can greatly reduce free radicals that cause oxidative stress. This means sinfully consuming and not numbing emotions with toxic foods (guilty of this myself sometimes!), reducing or cutting out alcohol & sugary beverages, reducing or cutting out sugar/junk foods/processed foods and conventionally-grown produce.
- Go chemical-free where possible! By choosing natural cleaning and personal care products (this includes cosmetics and fragrances), you are lowering the toxic load to help keep free radicals down. Choose organic produce and foods where possible too to keep your toxin exposure down.
- Consume foods and beverages high in antioxidants (3rd paragraph of this article).
- Reduce your exposure to EMF by reducing time on screens, turning off wifi at night when you sleep, sleeping with your phone ion airplane mode, grounding yourself (more on that soon...), using actual earthing products (Better Earthing), and EMF protection (Earthing Oz), reducing time on technology full-stop. All of these things can greatly reduce your contact with the invisible pollution that is all around us.
- Quit smoking. This is kind of a no-brainer but still important to mention. Smoking is so harmful to our health and the health of those around the smoke. The chemicals in cigarettes (and e-cigarettes) are toxic and free-radical producing!
- Move your body. It's been demonstrated that participating in moderate exercise (movement that gets your heart rate up but not extremely strenuous) can be very useful in helping prevent oxidative stress.
- Invest in an Air purifier for your home to reduce harmful pollutants in the home using a high-quality HEPA filter. This can remove things like viruses, bacteria, mould spores, allergens, pollen & dust mites. such as . Check out Innovaair.
Health is about understanding and looking at things holistically (from a whole body, min, body perspective). Optimal health is achievable and the things mentioned in today's blog can help you on your path to achieving a higher state of wellbeing. That is our wish for you.
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Disclaimer: the information in this article is intended purely as information and not health advice. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure and one should always seek expert advice from their trusted health practitioner.