Natural Antioxidants vs Free Radicals.
What are “Free Radicals”?
Free radicals are highly reactive compounds produced as part of our body’s normal activities, such as breathing. Some free radicals are actually necessary for our well-being, since they help our body’s defense system, especially to kill germs, among other activities.
However, when we eat a lot of fried or highly processed foods, including “bad fats”, more free radicals are produced than our body can normally handle safely.
Since free radicals can be a by-product of heating fats and oils, we should try to avoid eating deep-fried foods, as well as foods high in “trans” and saturated fats.
If too many free radicals are produced in the body, they can be very harmful to our health, since they promote irritation and inflammation in many parts of our body, especially the digestive system.
If irritation and inflammation continue to occur over a long period of time, we increase our chances of developing serious diseases, such as some types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease.
Natural Antioxidants can Inactivate Free Radicals...
Fruits, legumes, vegetables, as well as some spices, contain a great variety of naturally occurring chemicals known as “antioxidants”, which help to combat and inactivate the harmful free radicals.
Some of these antioxidants include beta carotene, “lutein”, “lycopene”, “quercetin”, “anthocyanidins”, and “resveratrol”, to name just a few. Some of these “phytochemicals” (natural chemicals produced by plants), also give fruits and vegetables their bright colors.
Add more color to your diet by eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables of various colors every day!