What Are Free Radicals? How They Impact Your Health?

The Human body is always struggling due to oxidative stress. This happens when an oxygen molecule divided into single atoms with an unpaired electron, which are called free radicals. These electrons wanted to be in pairs, so these individual atoms, feed the body to find others, so they become pair. This pairing causes impact the cells, proteins, and DNA.

Free Radicals are believed to be the cause of many health issues, including the theory of aging. The free radical theory of aging (FRTA) is the idea that as the organism aged, it causes the cells to damage due to the accumulation of free radicals in the body.

Background

The free radical theory of aging (FRTA) was visualized by Denham Harman in 1950s when different scientific belief was accepted that free radicals were very unstable to exists in biological systems. Many experts agreed that free radicals are the cause of many degenerative diseases.

As the years past, the free radical theory extended to the idea that it is not only about the free radical theory of aging, but they also relate to many age-related diseases. Many studies have shown that free radical can damage the cells and connected to a variety of disorders including cancer, arthritis, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.

Free Radicals Impact to Health

How do free radicals affect the body? Free radical is the result of many normal cellular reactions that occur inside the body. For instance, the progressive formation of phagocytes by white blood cells to engulf microbes or bacteria/ pathogens, which generally happen when you are sick, or anything wrong happens to you. In this instance free radicals protect the body and aid to fight against invaders, thus keeping the body well protected or healthy.

In different circumstances, free radicals are the result by environmental factors such as pollution, radiation from ultraviolet light or x-rays, smoke from cigarette, factory, and cars, and sadly eating processed food are common reasons and can all be harmful to our overall wellness.

The effect of this reaction is so broad and directly damage the cell membrane and intracellular organelles. The cell membrane protects the entire cell from harmful substances, but when it is damaged anyone can enter and exit the cell and causing the cell to be in significant damage.

How To Protect Your Body From Free Radicals?

To combat against harmful radicals is to supplement our body with any powerful antioxidants.

Antioxidants can reverse the damaging effect of these free radicals by giving up the much-needed electron without adding to the chain reaction. The antioxidant is the needed nutrients to combat the free radicals: such as Vitamin C, E. A, and beta carotene.

Eating foods rich In antioxidant is the best option to get rid of damaging free radicals. There are a variety of fruits and vegetables that you can include in your diet to protect your body.

Foods Rich in Antioxidants To Combat Free Radicals

USDA expert was able to analyze the antioxidant levels in more than 100 variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables. In their studies, they measured the antioxidant concentration of each food, also the antioxidant capacity per serving size. It revealed that among fruits: cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries has the highest level of antioxidant. While, beans, artichokes, and Russet potatoes were the leading vegetables to have a high level of antioxidant. Also, pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts tops in the nut selection.

The following are some foods rich in antioxidants:

1.  Cranberries
Cranberries are a fruit that many people eat during Thanksgiving Day. These fruits are a family of blueberries and huckleberries. They are known to have many health benefits and excellent food to eat regularly.

It is highly rich in dietary fiber, and a great of some vitamins and minerals. Cranberries are highly rich in vitamin C and E. It also contains manganese and copper.

2.   Blueberries

Blueberries are low in calories but have more phytonutrients and antioxidants.  According to a FRAP analysis, blueberries have the highest amount of antioxidants, especially anthocyanin. Blueberries contain up to 9.2 mmol of antioxidants per 3.5 ounces (100 grams).

Blueberries health benefits:

  • helps strengthen the bones
  • anthocyanin in blueberries prevent oxidative DNA damage
  • vitamin C in blueberries is a big reason for building collagen
  • helps prevent wrinkles, age spots, and acne
  • also protect the skin damage due to pollution, dust, smoke and UV rays.
  • helps control bad cholesterol level, prevent cancer, lower blood pressure, control diabetes and improve the cardiovascular system.
  • promote brain health, weight loss, and helps ease inflammation

3.  Blackberries

Blackberries are known scientifically as Rubus fructicosus and are considered to be healthy and delicious fruit. The nutritional value of blackberries is remarkable.

Blackberries are high in fiber, rich in vitamin C that helps promote immunity and healthy skin. The antioxidant content is essential for DNA repair and for the production of collagen and serotonin.

4.  Goji Berries

Goji Berries are highly rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The reason, why is often regarded as a superfood.

Several studies had shown that consuming goji berry juice help promote a feeling of well-being and better relaxation, improves quality of sleep, better performance in sports, and support weight loss. But these are only preliminary studies about the health benefits of goji, and it needs further research before giving conclusions. Many berries are known to have better health benefits, but not yet known if it is better than the other berries, or if goji berry would have similar health benefits as other known berries.

5. Beans

Beans have high nutritional value with high protein content, fiber, vitamin B, iron, potassium, and very low in fat content; but this fruit can also give potential danger to health

6. Artichokes

Artichokes are one of the tastiest and nutritious veggies which is not familiar in the North American to include in their diet. It is an excellent source of dietary fiber, certain minerals, and antioxidant content.

According to FRAP analysis, it contains up to 4.7 mmol of antioxidants per 3.5 ounces (100 grams). Artichokes are abundant in the antioxidant called chlorogenic acid. Several studies had shown that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of consuming artichokes might help decrease the risk of specific cancers, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

The antioxidant level of artichokes may vary; it depends on how the vegetables prepared. Boiling artichokes may increase their antioxidant by eight times when you steam, and the antioxidant content may raise 15 times. While frying artichokes may decrease the antioxidant content.

7.  Kale

Kale is known as the “queen of greens” and rich in nutritional health benefits. Kale contains vitamins A. K and C. Also known to be high in antioxidant. According to FRAP analysis, it provides up to 2.7 mmol per 3.5 ounces (100 grams). The red Kale contains more anthocyanin and other antioxidants that give them their lively color.

8. Red Cabbage

The Red cabbage or also known as purple cabbage has significant nutritional value. It contains vitamins C, K, and A and high antioxidant content. Based on FRAP analysis, red cabbage supports up to 2.2mmol of antioxidants per 3.5 ounces (100 grams). It is believed to be more than four times the amount of antioxidants in ordinary cooked cabbage.

Red cabbage has anthocyanins antioxidant, a family of antioxidants that give cabbage its red color, which is also found in certain fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.

Red cabbage is also a rich source of vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant in the body. Vitamin C may help support the immune system and decrease the risk of certain cancers.
9.  Beets

Beets or beetroots have belonged to the Chenopodiaceae family. It has many amazing benefits. They have often added an ingredient to soups, salad,s, and pickles and also use as a natural coloring agent. Though it is available throughout the year, still considered as seasonal vegetables.

Beets are highly nutritious root vegetables, that is rich in vitamins and minerals, such as sodium, potassium, iron, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, vitamin C and vitamin B (such as thiamin, niacin, and riboflavin). They are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, low in fat, low cholesterol, and calories.

10. Spinach

Spinach is highly nutritional dense vegetables. It is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and is low in calorie content. It is also a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that help prevent your eyes from damaging due to UV light and certain harmful light wavelength. These two antioxidants protect the eye from damaging free radical that may cause overtime.

Bottom Line

Free Radicals are believed to be the leading cause of many health issues, including the theory of aging. The free radical theory of aging (FRTA) is the idea that as the organism aged, it causes the cells to damage due to the accumulation of free radicals in the body.

The only way to combat free radicals is to supplement your body with foods rich in antioxidants. Try to incorporate to your diet certain foods that are rich in vitamins A, C, E and beta carotene. Eating foods highly rich in antioxidants is the best option to protect your body from damaging free radicals.

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10 Comments

  1. Hi there,
    I really enjoyed your post about using Antioxidants to combat the free radicals in our body.
    Knowing which veggies to eat is super helpful. I think people really are interested in what things we can do to try to help us be healthier. Putting the proper things in our body is certainly something we can easily do.
    Thank you for the helpful information
    Great job

    • Hello Coralie. My pleasure for visiting my site. I’m glad that you find this article helpful and make you aware of the harm caused by free radicals in our body. Hope you’ll revisit this site. God bless you.

  2. Hello, just wanted to say that I found this article to be very informative. Eating more healthy foods is something I am constantly trying to do, and I think everybody should. Thanks for the great info!

    • Hi Matt. Glad that you’ve visited my site and find this article helpful. Very real that eating healthy foods is the best way to attain optimum wellness. God bless you.

  3. This is a very informative article. Your presentation clearly provides a helpful wellness enlightenment on how to protect your body from free radicals and the best food against free radicals. Thank you for sharing this information.

    • Thank you, Stephen, for visiting my site. I appreciate that you find this article helpful. It’s true that everyone needs to know how to protect the body from harmful free radicals. I hope you’ll revisit my site for more useful information. God bless you.

  4. Wow this is a really nice article. I will definitely have to try some of these, I have been meaning to eat healthier.

    • Thank you for stopping by and have time to read my article. I’m glad that you find this article helpful. I hope you’ll revisit my site for other useful information about health.

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