In recent health and wellness news, you may have heard lots of buzz around antioxidants, but what exactly are they and how do they help the body? Many people have heard this popular term and yet have no idea what an antioxidant is or how it works. They’ve only heard that something called an antioxidant might be good for them.

An antioxidant is a very important molecular substance which works to help the body remove and neutralize its waste products. Essentially antioxidants are the body’s cleanup crew that have a really important role in keeping us healthy and vibrant.

Antioxidants can either be natural or man-made, and help to prevent the body from cellular damage by inhibiting oxidation- a process that happens daily in the human body. It is the process of oxidation that produces free radicals, and it is these free radicals which cause all kinds of unwanted things from disease to aging to occur.

Without antioxidants free radicals would run through the body unchecked and  we would be in serious trouble!

So, What is A Free Radical Anyway?

As of late, free radicals have received almost as much buzz as antioxidants in the health world. And with good reason too! These little molecules are highly unstable and cause a lot of damage in the body. Free radicals are naturally formed as a result of many bodily processes such as exercise or in converting food into energy, so it is normal to find them in the body. We are also bombarded by external, environmental free radicals when we do things such as breathe in air pollution or fill our gas tanks. As you can see, our bodies are always working to right the wrongs of environmental threats! This is where the problem begins, with the number of free radicals our bodies deal with on a daily basis.

This overload of free radicals causes a big problem. When the amount of free radicals present in the body begins to rise, due to their unstable activity, they begin to attack the body’s own cells, damaging them beyond repair. These damaged cells then continue to produce more free radicals creating a destructive cycle.

A free radical, by its very nature, is a very unstable molecule, meaning it can cause quite a bit of damage at a quick rate. What makes free radicals SO problematic is that this damage they cause produces something called oxidative stress, and it is oxidative stress which is responsible for the cell damage we talked about earlier. This damage happens at the level of the body’s cells, proteins, and DNA, and directly affects the body’s ability to create new healthy cells.

New research has even revealed that free radicals may be the very cause of many more disease and health conditions than we previously thought.  It is the process of oxidative stress that has been found to play a very large role in causing unwanted diseases such as:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Quickened Aging
  • Parkinson’s
  • Dementia
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Hair Loss
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Heart Disease.

Antioxidants Help to Fight Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress:

Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals in the body, boosting our overall health. This is great news for our bodies! Antioxidants are the number one mechanism against the damage done by free radicals. These powerhouse molecules inhibit the formation of free radicals by donating an electron to the free radical, giving them something to join on to at a molecular level. This keeps them from damaging our healthy cells, proteins, and DNA.

As you can see, antioxidants help us by looking for free radicals to join to make them known as the body “free radical scavengers” this is why they are so important.

So, What Can We Do? 

Stress is an everyday part of life. Good thing there are things we can do and foods we can eat which can help our bodies to combat the stress that comes from free radical damage and oxidative stress. Eating the following foods, which are high in antioxidants, is a great way to give our bodies a helping hand. It helps to focus on foods that are high in vitamins, A, E, K, B1, B3, B6, B12, Zinc, Selenium, and Manganese. Some examples are:

  • Blueberries, Mangos, Melons, Strawberries, Oranges, Apples, Bananas, Grapes
  • Spinach, Broccoli, Kale, Peppers, Sweet potatoes
  • – Legumes, Seeds, Tomatoes, Pumpkin, Squash
  • -Whole grains, Fish, Green tea, Dandelion root, Turmeric, Onions, Lentils, Peas, Cabbage, Cauliflower

Antioxidants also stimulate the immune system and increase the body’s ability to defend itself against invading pathogens. In helping to eliminate harmful toxic substances, such as free radicals, from the body they also help stop the onset of  many dangerous diseases and conditions. A diet rich in foods containing these little powerhouse molecules can help to stop the onset of diabetes, cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, plaque buildup in the arteries, decrease the growth of cysts and tumors, and even slow the aging process.

With all these benefits it is easy to see how important antioxidants are.

Orthobiologics Associates can assist you in providing a plan that will promote Antioxidants enhancement. Call us to schedule a consultation 877-381-4200.