Curing Diseases Through Your Diet

Every week, news stories reveal that taking a particular herb, food or supplement can have a positive effect on our health. Many diseases can be reversed, controlled and cured if we change the way we eat or through other natural means.

Doesn't it make sense to learn how what we eat can help prevent and even cure such diseases. This blog is dedicated to providing such information directly and through valuable links and other resources.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Antioxidants Help You Live Longer

Do you want to be younger and live longer? There are many antioxidant containing supplements that show strong evidence that they slow down the aging process.

Vitamins that have been particularly noted for their antioxidant properties include Vitamins A, C, and E. These antioxidant help to protect body cells from the damage done by free radicals. And it is free radicals that scientists clearly believe accelerate the aging process, and cause other disease.

Free radicals are highly reactive molecules first identified by Moses Gomberg in 1900. In chemical terms they are referred to as "reactive oxygen species", or ROS.

Where do free radicals come from?

As the cells produce energy (for function and survival), they also create oxygen molecules that are unstable because its electrons are unpaired. These unpaired electrons are highly labile, leading to readily or continuous chemical, physical, or biological changes or breakdowns. In other words, the oxygen molecules, or free radicals, attach themselves to other molecules in the cells where they don't belong and cause problems.

Along with the free radicals produced naturally by many cellular processes, their output can be greatly increased by exposure to environmental factors such as pollution, tobacco smoke and radiation. These environmental toxins along with stress are all known to cause aging!

Stress, too, is a problem. Persistent stress, not relieved by exercise or other methods, causes the formation of free radicals. And if we do not have a good night's sleep, at least seven hours, even more free radicals are produced.

A lot of negative changes in our body come as a result of the activities of free radicals. They damage the DNA and impair other vital functions of cells, eventually causing the premature death of these cells. All these damages accumulate and show up in our bodies as accelerated aging.

Antioxidants help to solve the problems listed above by mopping up the free radicals in our systems. Antioxidants have extra electrons that they can give up to the loose oxygen, neutralizing their ability to cause damage.

Antioxidants are a class of nutrients that protect the body from damage caused by different factors, most importantly oxidative damage caused by free radicals. And by preventing oxidation, they increase immune responses, and possibly decrease the risk of infection and cancer.

These substances also prevent glaucoma and the age-related degeneration of our macula, the part of the eye that is dedicated for superior acuity vision. Antioxidants also slow down the passing of the aging clock, making your skin and other organs more flexible and vibrant

Supplements like Vitamin A, E, C and selenium, are known to be powerful antioxidants, but there are many other exotic antioxidants that are found abundantly in fruits and vegetables. Dark blue, purple and red fruits and vegetables are good sources of antioxidants. Even red wine, in moderation, is a good source of a particular antioxidant.

So start eating more of those colorful vegetables and fruits, they can help you live longer and look younger.

A source for some information in this article has been Haiyan Lai-Heskin.

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