It seems we’re ever bombarded by the news and in the literature by warnings and dangers that threaten our concept of health and longevity. One year a particular lifestyle, trend or food is a boon to our health; the next year it’s a hindrance or deadly threat, best to be avoided. How do we navigate through these ever-changing waters of what it means to be healthy, and find some solid ground to guarantee our well-being? Like many things, the answer goes back to the basics of eating healthily and supplementing our diets with high-quality vitamins and minerals wherever our diets are lacking.
In the following article, we will focus on combatting Free Radicals and the role of antioxidants in this fight. So equip yourself with your finest fighting gear and let us begin!
What is an antioxidant?
Basically, antioxidants are little warriors that protect our body from damage by oxidants. They are hunters, miniature Pac-Man’s who rummage through our cells and find, cleanup, and remove waste products therein; waste products referred to as “free radicals”. Free radicals are to be found everywhere in our environment, from pollution, alcohol, tobacco smoke, fried foods, and pesticides (to name just a few).
Free-radicals are also manufactured internally, by our body, to assist in the elimination of microbes and viruses. Put another way, free radicals aren’t necessarily bad, but, in excess, they can lead to such side-effects as premature aging, some kinds of cancer, and even heart disease.
What are they, and where do Free Radicals come from?
A free radical is a molecule that is unstable and highly reactive. It can cause damage to our DNA by binding and attaching itself to a healthy cell, which can result in aging and a slew of degenerative diseases. Some free-radicals are necessary, normal, and are responsible for the stimulation of repair. Too many, however, and their influence can overwhelm the repair process and set off a string of dangerous events called oxidative stress. To put simply, this occurs when our bodies have a higher amount of free radicals than it does antioxidants.
Here are some signs of oxidative stress:
- Memory loss and/or brain fog
- Lowered immune system
- Sore, aching joints and/or muscles
- Noise sensitivity
- Rapidly decreasing eye-sight
- Premature aging and greying hair
So, what can we do in the light of this dizzying array of consequences? For the preservation of your sanity, there are but two things you need to focus on. One, increase your intake of anti-oxidants; Two, avoid excessive exposure to oxidants.
Let’s think about how to put this into practice…
Decrease your exposure to oxidation:
Avoid stress. Easier to say than do, right? While it’s next to impossible to completely purge ourselves of stress next to the business of the world today, integrating some straight-forward, healthy strategies such as getting an adequate amount of exercise, tending to our sleep hygiene, smiling, laughing, and enjoying the good company of others and avoiding toxic entertainment can help loads.
Avoid eating sugar and processed foods. Processed foods are packed full of sugar. The more sugar that passes through our body, the more we allow for oxidation to happen. When we eat large or infrequent meals this leads to unstable glucose (sugar) levels, which, in turn, leads to oxidative stress.
Hydrate your body. Dehydration leads to oxidative stress, so DRINK UP!
Avoid Toxins and pollutants. We’re surrounded by pollutants and toxins. There’s nothing we can do to change that fact. We can, however, take steps to limit their exposure. When possible, try eating organic fruits and vegetables, quit smoking (if this is especially problematic for you, talk to Dr Shreder, Dr. Frye or Carrie, they can help), use cleaning products that are natural, and check labels on your personal grooming products (Full Circle Health sells medical grade hair and skin products that are also free of toxins).
DIRTY DOZEN – High in PesticidesCLEAN 15 – Low in Pesticides
- Sweet corn
- Frozen sweet peas
- Sweet bell peppers
- Honeydew melon
- Eat a medley fruits and vegetables (the more colorful the assortment, the better). These contain high amounts of anti-oxidants.
- Eat foods high in glutathione, a powerful anti-oxidant comprised of 3 different amino-acids; glutamate, cysteine, and glycine. (When food is cooked this reduces glutathione levels, to best eat these types of food raw.) Examples of high glutathione foods include…
- Red bell pepper
- Citrus fruits
- You can also encourage your body to produce more glutathione by eating high Sulphur containing foods, such as:
- Brussel sprouts
- Put the coffee mug away, and drink green tea (a high source of anti-oxidants)
- Take supplements high in anti-oxidants that encourage glutathione production, such as:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamins C & E
Full Circle Health offers a full line of medical grade supplements such as those found above. It is important to consult with your together should you chose to implement supplements into your diet. Our doctors may recommend a comprehensive blood panel or micro-nutrient testing in order to check what your body is lacking.
That pretty much sums it up. Simple but effective ways to combat free radicals by lowering oxidative stress. We just need to avoid what the body doesn’t need, and to increase our intake of what it does. Are you interested in further guidance? Schedule a comprehensive, one-on-one consultation with Dr. Shreder. He can supply you with the advice and tools you need to live more healthily. Here’s to Looking Good, Feeling Good, and Enjoying life!
Oxidative Stress and Skin Aging
We’re well aware that external factors such as exposure to the sun can lead to aging skin. However, internal factors such as oxidative stress are also a cause. What is there to be done if you’re in the process of making healthy lifestyle changes but are wearing the effects of foregone habits on your face? Not to worry, Full Circle Health Aesthetics has a solution. We can help reverse the signs of aging with Ultherapy, micro-needling, laser, and chemical peels. Call for a complimentary consultation today. 480-740-5225