You’ve got to want it
Knowledge is the key.Orie n
Good health is not a matter of luck or genetics … it’s more about wanting it. It’s about knowing what to eat, what habits to develop, and what dietary supplements to consume to complement a good diet. It’s not about looking good. You can have the perfect body or the prettiest face yet still have relatively poor health. What we are talking about is being healthy on the inside, all the way to the cellular level. Healthy cells will allow your body to protect itself from free radicals, pathogens, chemicals and other dangerous substances we come into contact with every day.
Most doctors believe that certain conditions are symptoms of disease. Many scientists and researchers believe that disease itself is a symptom of a body that is not well nourished and well maintained. A multitude of scientific studies have demonstrated that many foods increase the risk of certain degenerative diseases, while others reduce these risks.
Free radicals (or oxidants) are highly reactive forms of oxygen or nitrogen that are produced by the body’s metabolism, environmental factors, inflammation and sometimes by infection. Molecules are made up of atoms held together by chemical bonds. Each chemical bond consists of a pair of electrons. When a bond is broken, two molecular fragments (or atoms) are left over, each of which contains one unpaired electron. These atoms are highly charged and highly unstable because of the unpaired electron. These charged, highly unstable, and very reactive particles are known as free radicals.
Free radicals usually exist only for a small fraction of a second and spend their short lives racing around looking for molecules to combine or react with. These reactions are called oxidation, a process that is very similar to the formation of rust on metal. When a free radical combines with a molecule, it can damage the molecule and consequently the cell it belongs to. The damage can occur to cell membranes, proteins, lipids (fats), or to the cell’s DNA. It is this damage to the cell’s DNA that eventually leads to many health problems. It is also believed that free radicals cause damage to cells that results in what we know as aging.
The body has about 1 trillion cells, and each cell is estimated to receive around 10,000 free radical hits each day.
Part of the reason there are so many oxidative reactions is that each reaction causes a chain reaction. Thus, one free radical potentially leads to the creation of hundreds of thousands of others. The good news is that we have an antioxidant defense system that protects us from this barrage of cellular attacks. Antioxidants react with free radicals and end the chain reactions that could lead to cellular damage. If we did not have a good defense mechanism, our body would break down very quickly.
Antioxidants are substances, such as vitamins, minerals, coenzymes or phytochemicals, that prevent, neutralize or eliminate free radicals. They either prevent free radicals from forming in the first place, protect cells from free radical damage, or react with free radicals to inactivate or eliminate them. They also boost our immune system in general. It has been widely recognized for some time now that antioxidants play an important role in our overall health, helping the body reduce the risk of developing certain conditions.
Antioxidants are found in most fruits and vegetables. Some of them have more of certain antioxidants than others, but they are basically all found in nature’s bounty. Most, if not all, antioxidants are good for your health in one way or another. One reason it is important to get a good, balanced mix of the different kinds of antioxidants is that some work better against certain free radicals than others. The other reason is that many of them help each other out. Some boost the effectiveness of others, replenish them, recycle them, prevent them from getting oxidized themselves, or increase their bioavailable levels.