Free radicals are depicted as the arch enemy of preventative medicine. They’re often presented as microscopic pests intent on damaging your body’s cells, aging the skin and causing havoc at a microscopic level.
However, they aren’t always bad. And our bodies actually produce them naturally. This includes by the liver to detoxify the blood, to create while white blood cells that destroy bacteria, viruses and damaged cells.
If our body’s get overloaded with free radicals it can cause problems. And free radicals have become abundant in the world around us.
We breathe them in from air pollution. We consume them from processed food due to pesticides. And we absorb them through all the chemicals and disinfectants we use daily.
Why are they dangerous?
Free radicals are oxygen containing molecules that are missing a positive electron.
This makes them unstable and desperately looking to take the positive charge from another molecule to balance itself.
In the body this can set off a chain reaction of molecules stealing the positive charge of other molecules. And if this overwhelms the body’s ability to cope, this causes a condition called “oxidative stress”.
Oxidative stress can then affect your body’s proteins, fatty acids and even your DNA. This can then trigger human diseases including:
- Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease
- Gene mutations and cancers
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Fragile X syndrome
- Heart and blood vessel disorders
- Heart failure
- Heart attack
- Inflammatory diseases
What can you do to prevent it?
Free radicals can be countered by “antioxidants”. These help to balance the electrons of the free radicals and prevent oxidative stress. Your body can produce them naturally. But if you suffer from poor nutrition or ingest too many toxins, the number of free radicals can fast overpower your natural antioxidant levels.
Thankfully, it’s possible to boost your antioxidant levels naturally through food. Some of the best antioxidant foods include:
- Goji berries
- Wild blueberries
- Dark chocolate
- Kidney beans
So to keep your free radicals in check, consider adding a handful of berries or some dark chocolate to your diet to boost your antioxidant levels naturally.