Oxidative Stress

We hear a lot about antioxidants and oxidative stress these days. For our body to function at its best and healthiest, we need to make sure we neutralize the oxidative damage inside the body.

Oxidative stress is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to detoxify their harmful effects by using antioxidants to neutralize them.

We need oxygen to live. We obtain energy by burning fuel (the food we digest) with oxygen in a carefully controlled metabolic process. Unfortunately, this process also generates dangerous byproducts, free radicals. Even the simple act of breathing creates free radicals. The problem isn’t the free radicals, though, the problem is not having a strong enough immune system to fight them.

We need to neutralize free radicals, because left to their own devices, they cause a lot of destruction.

Damage caused by free radicals:

  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • osteoporosis
  • senility
  • aging

So, as you can see, we need to be sure we are keeping oxidative stress under control. We can do this by reducing our exposure to free radical causing substances, and by eating a diet highly effective at neutralizing those free radicals.

What causes free radical damage:

  • environmental toxins
  • medications
  • alcohol
  • BBQ’d food
  • Meat and cheese
  • Deep fried food
  • Emotional stress
  • Overtraining

Foods that fight oxidative damage:

  • brightly colored fruits and vegetables
  • berries
  • grapes
  • green/white tea
  • herbs/spices
  • certain essential oils

The bottom line is, oxidative stress is a normal byproduct of metabolic functions our bodies go through, but we also need to make sure we are remedying the situation by avoiding over exposure to that which causes an abundance of free radicals and ensuring we load the body with healing foods. An abundance of free radicals, left untreated, causes too much harmful and potentially deadly damage. Since it is so easy to counteract that by eating delicious plant-based nutrition, be sure to load your plate up with health promoting foods!

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