Almost all the time when we hear or read about healthy eating, exercise or the anti-aging processes, we get the earful of Antioxidants and that we must make our bodies get rid of the Free Radicals. But there we don’t get to conceive the concept of Free Radicals or Toxins; how they are created and why it becomes so vital to have the food that kills these free radicals.Subsequently it becomes somewhat important to get the hang of Free Radicals so we get convinced about the importance of healthy radical-fighting diet.
Understanding the underlying concept behind free radicals involves understanding of chemistry. But I will try to elucidate this theory by going less deep into the chemistry involved for we don’t want to get grey hair making sense of it without reaping the actual benefits.
Primarily, consider our bodies as workshops where the cells are at constant hard work performing huge amount of chemical reactions and for this very reason they are called the chemical factories of our bodies. Just as good batteries are needed for effective working of any electronic or mechanical device, the same way our body needs hale and hearty cells for healthy life and slowed down age clock. An estimated 75 to 100 trillion cells are involved in all the processes that make us do all the activities of our life. In short, we are composed of cells. The life of cells may vary from a few days to a year depending on the type and functionality but the way we feed ourselves changes the lifespan and health of the cells too and consequently it affects us. When cells are contented with the food we provide them, they return this in the form of a gift of overall good health. However, if we make them miserable by ultimate platters loaded with high fat and very little nutritional value, they get upset and no longer want to stay in our body so they commit suicide. They don’t just die but make us face the consequences of poor skin, wrinkles, blemishes, poor digestion, weak immune system and much more.
You must have heard of the phrase “Excess of everything is bad”, same goes for the free radicals. Excessive free radical accumulation in the cells causes their death.
I would not say that free radicals are useless altogether. They are important in carrying out several biological processes like the killing of bacteria and they are involved in the cell signaling process too whose details are not required here.
Now a little bit of chemistry to understand these free radicals. Free radicals (Atoms, molecules or ions) have orbits that contain electrons and in the outermost orbit an electron needs its pair; otherwise it becomes highly reactive and aggressive to find its partner electron and makes a pair just as it finds another free electron.
This pairing process causes damage to the cell. Not just the superficial aging but many forms of cancer are caused by free radicals when they react with the DNA.
Hearing this you don’t need to just stop eating. The free radical production is a natural result of metabolism or oxidation which is the breaking down of food particles to carry out the functionalities of our body and knowing this, naturally it makes sense that we want healthy food to be broken down or in other words we need oxidant fighting food to go down our throat. This establishes a link between healthy eating and antioxidants that we hear every time with healthy food.
Besides unhealthy eating, exposure to the toxins like tobacco smoke, stress, pollution and UV radiations from the sun also aggravates the production of free radicals. Now, knowing this inevitable process we must make sure to get rich in antioxidants. You can get all the details about antioxidants, the foods rich in antioxidants and their undying gains at “Health Benefits of Antioxidants” where I promised to write about the toxins and free radicals and I just got done with it.
Now let’s say no to junk food that is so attractive when our cravings are hiking but do we want to satisfy the cravings at the cost of extremely bad health and speedy age-clock? I don’t think so.