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Do you know why some people look older than they actually are?

free radicals do exist in our bodies naturally. They are the secondary results of metabolism inside our cells. A free radical consists of one atom of oxygen that roams the body searching for a cell to attach to and to oxidize. If not reduced by the body, the free radicals are destructive to the cells. Most of the dangerous diseases that attack our bodies are a result of the destruction the free radicals cause to the cells. So, do our bodies let those radical cells go out and about in our bodies without any sort of defense mechanisms?

Of course not. Our bodies work day and night to get rid of them. There are certain enzymes that work together against these radical cells and according to accurate and clear mechanisms. 

If the radical cells are destroyed internally, why do we still get ill?

The reason in quite simple. It is the quality of our food and life style. Radical cells increase inside our bodies due to the bad habits we do every single day, such as: 

  • Anxiety and psychological pressures of all kinds. 
  • Junk food and food that contains preservatives. 
  • Cooking with hydrogenated oils. 
  • Adding artificial flavors and colors to food. 
  • Environmental pollution and harmful sun rays. 
  • Smoking.
  • lack of exercise and physical activity.

What is the potential danger that lies in the accumulation of radical cells in our bodies?

  •  One of the most popular theories about cancer is that radical cells are behind it as it prevents the ruined cells from dying and thus they stick together forming a malignant tumor. 
  • Radical cells play a key role in heart and arteriae diseases. It encourages the cells to absorb more cholesterol which changes the cell structure and turn it into harmful foam cells that get inside the blood vessels causing atheroma and occulusion. This causes many heart and blood vessels problems that may lead to death. 
  • Not to mention kidney and liver problems that are caused by the constant attacks launched by the radical cells. 
  • The harm also extends to the outer appearance as the radical cells also cause the skin to age rather quickly. That is why people who follow diets that are rich with fruits and vegetables have younger looking skins. Radical cells destroy the DNA of the skin cells along with the collagen that gives your skin its softness and elasticity leaving it very sensitive and ready to form thin lines and wrinkles. 
  • It also attacks hair follicles making your hair weak and prone to falling. 

How to avoid these dangers?

The best way to help our bodies get rid of radical cells is to change our life styles and to eat a lot of food that contains antioxidants. 

What are antioxidants?

They are substances and compounds that protects the cells from the dangers that the radical cells may cause. Antioxidants interact with the those cells preventing the harm they cause, and they also play a role in protecting from heart diseases and cancer. One of the most effective antioxidants are vitamins especially vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutine and selenium.

What are the foods that rich in antioxidants: 

All the natural unprocessed foods are. This includes fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, beef, poultry and fish.

  • Sweet potato, carrots, cantaloupe, pumpkin, mango, apricot, cabbage, spinach, and turnip all contain beta-carotene.
  • Tomatoes, watermelon, guava, papaya, apricots, grape fruit and orange all contain lycopene. 
  • liver, sweet potato, grape fruit, carrots, egg yolk and cheese all are good sources of vitamin A.
  • Citrus, vegetables, grains, beef, poultry and fish are good sources of vitamin C.
  • Almond, and vegetables oils like safflower oil, soybean oil, and wheatgerm oil are good sources of vitamin E. Moreover, it also can be found in nuts, mango, broccoli, and mushrooms. 
  • Finally, there is selenium which is a mineral that contains antioxidant enzymes in rice, wheat, beef, bread and Brazilian nuts. 

An important note:

  •  We should not have too much antioxidant. They should be consumed moderately and with healthy portions. 
  • Studies have shown that using food supplements that contain vitamins and antioxidants puts you at a lesser risk at developing heart and blood vessel diseases. You should, however, consult your doctor before using them.

There are other plant that are very rich in antioxidants. Make sure to include some of them regularly in your meals to help you fight diseases and maintain a good health and a youthful look as long as you can:

 

Israa Adaci
A pharmacist from Gaza, Palestine. I received my training in Alshifaa medical hospital, and I have worked in many pharmacies. I am interested in raising awareness about health and debunking the many and widely spread myths about diet and nutrition.