We are all aware that excess free radicles cause damage to almost all cells in the body and lead to various chronic diseases and accelerate ageing. Read on and know what these free radicles can do to you and how do we tackle them.
What are Free Radicals?
A free radical is an atom or molecule that contains 1 or more unpaired electrons and is always looking to steal electrons from other atoms and molecules, thereby causing their oxidation. This ‘Oxidative Stress’ caused by these free radicles damages the cells in our body.
Free radicals can be caused/generated in our body due to infections (such as the Corona Virus), radiation, environmental toxins, tobacco smoke, excessive exercise etc. our body also makes free radicals when it converts fat to energy.
Affect of Free Radicals on Human Body
- Accelerate the ageing process.
- Cause damage to nerve cells in the brain ad can lead to memory issues and diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
- They can damage the tissues of joints and lead to joint pains and arthritis.
- They can damage the tissues of the eyes and lens, leading to vision problems.
- They can cause damage to DNA and a lea to cancers.
- They contribute to heart disease by various mechanisms.
Antioxidant Rich Foods That Enhance Immunity
Natural antioxidants found in fruits and herbs have no interactions with other drugs, have no significant side effects and are relatively safe.
Foods and herbs containing high quantities of anti-oxidants are:
- Foods rich in lycopene like grapefruit, watermelon, tomatoes etc.
- Foods rich in lutein like green leafy vegetables, corn etc
- Foods rich in Vitamin A like carrots, milk, sweet potatoes, liver, egg yolk etc
- Foods rich in Vitamin C like oranges, gooseberry, strawberry, kiwi, mangoes etc.
- Foods rich in Vitamin E like vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, avacados, whole grains etc
- Foods rich in Selenium like lean meat, sea food and whole grains.
- Foods rich in Zinc like milk, nuts, sea food, lean meat etc
- Herbs like Gingko Biloba
- Anthocyanins found in berries, grapes, brinjal etc.
- Beta-carotene found in carrots, pumpkin, apricots, spinach etc
- Catechins found in tea and red wine.
- Flavonoids found in green tea, apples, onions, citrus fruits etc.
- Isoflavonoids found in tofu, soybeans, peas, milk etc
Nothing is magic. Don’t expect dramatic changes within yourself by eating healthy for a day or a week only. Make long-lasting lifestyle changes, inculcate good habits and dietary practices in children right from childhood.
Free radicle scavengers or anti-oxidants are also sometimes called ‘immune boosters’, immunity enhancers etc, in general terms. Be motivated and take care of yourself. Live healthy, live disease-free!