Hidden Danger: Free Radicals

Reema Abdullah | January 4th, 2021

Free radicals cause damage to cells. Cells are the basic building blocks of all living things. The human body is composed of trillions and trillions of cells. They take in nutrients from food, offer structure for the body, convert food into energy, and create many other specialized functions. Without cells, we would be nothing!

Free radicals can cause illness and aging to the body. You might have never heard of the word free radical before. A free radical is an unstable molecule that is made during cell metabolism. Free radicals can cause damage to DNA, proteins, and lipids in your body. They are molecules that contain oxygen and an uneven number of electrons. The uneven number of electrons causes a chemical reaction within your body because they easily react with other molecules. In short, free radicals attack normal cells and cause destruction.

Free radicals have been linked to chronic health problems. Some of these diseases include inflammatory disease, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

Harvard.edu

Foods That Contribute To Free Radicals In The Body
Not all foods are created equal, there are some foods that can cause more harm than good. Here are some foods that are linked to free radicals in your body:
– Red Meat
– Processed Deli Meats
– Alcohol
– Cooking Oil

Other Factors That Contribute To Free Radicals:
– Smoking
– Drugs
– Chemical pollutants
– Air pollutants

There is hope, antioxidants neutralize free radicals by giving up their own electrons. They basically turn off the destructive nature of the free radicals. By definition, an antioxidant is a substance that inhibits oxidation. Vegetables are one of the best sources of antioxidants. Walnuts are also shockingly rich in antioxidants for a nut!

Foods Rich In Antioxidants:
– Dark chocolate
– Blueberries
– Pecans
– Kale

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