WHAT ARE ANTIOXIDANTS?
Antioxidants are compounds that neutralise free radicals. A Free Radical is a molecule that has lost a part of its structure and is therefore unbalanced. This is a process called oxidation (exactly like rust, on iron). It requires oxygen to balance it. Free Radicals are an essential component of the oxidation process and are produced during times of all body functions. Most of the Free Radicals generated are balanced by the body’s enzymes, vitamins & minerals. Unfortunately, the body’s Energy production process is 2% – 5% inefficient and some Free Radicals are not neutralised and cause harm to the body. It is the excessive production and build up of Free Radicals that accelerates the ageing and disease process.
WHAT DO FREE RADICALS DO TO THE BODY?
An excessive amount can cause damage to a cell’s protein, membrane and ability to regenerate correctly. This leads to inflammation, damage to major organs and digestive system. Not to mention visible ageing on the skin. They can compromise the immune system, CVS and lymphatic system.
WHAT ARE GENERAL CAUSES OF FREE RADICAL FORMATION?
They are formed just by natural body processes, especially energy function. But, it is the excessive amounts we are concerned with and the following options are able to produce many free radicals over constant use;
- long exposure to sun or other UV light
- excessive alcohol
- caffeine drinks
- processed food
- bad fats
- continual emotional, physical and mental stress
SO WHAT CAN BE DONE TO NEUTRALISE THIS REACTION?
The major antioxidants common to us are;
- Vitamin C, E, A
- Bioflavinoids (Rutin and Hesperidin)
As well as many herbs including;
- Ginko Biloba
- Green Tea
The foods that are rich in these antioxidants are coloured;
The list includes
- citrus fruits
- red grapes
- green leafy vegetables (spinach, endive, chickory)
- protein in the form of fish, chicken and meat