What are Free Radicals, And Why Are They So Important?

October 19, 2021

The human body consists of atoms and compounds. And without the knowledge of basic chemistry, it is virtually impossible to understand how these atoms and compounds affect our health.

This may seem vague, but a deeper study of the elements present in our bodies has shown that there is a lot to gain from knowing how these compounds function. With this, we have been able to understand that our bodies contain molecules called free radicals that are pretty troublesome and cause severe health issues. Unfortunately, many of us don’t know what these are and the extent of damage they cause to the body. This guide discusses what these molecules are and reveals how to control it’s spread in our bodies.

What are Free Radicals?

Free radicals are any molecular species capable of existing independently, containing an unpaired electron in an atomic orbital. They are very unstable and can donate an electron to or accept an electron from other molecules, thus behaving as oxidants or reductants.

The unstable features of free radicals we’re explained by Dr. Noelani Gonzalez. He reveals that “free radicals are unstable molecules that cause damage to our cells and what makes them unstable is that they are missing electrons from their outer shell. Therefore, causes them to look for other atoms or molecules that have similar electrons so that they can become whole and stable again”. 

Causes

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Bad health habits increase free radicals

This is mainly caused by normal essential metabolic processes in the human body. It is a natural occurrence but is accelerated by old age.

However, lifestyle choices can cause this. They include exposure to toxic chemicals or pollutants, excessive smoking and alcohol consumption, lack of proper diets, sleep, and exercise. 

How Free Radicals Affect Health?

Free radicals affect your health in negative ways. Their unstable nature can wreak havoc on other cells. And the process of these cells going to look for similar electrons results in Oxidative Stress. This process can weaken the living cells and tissues, causing vulnerability to more chronic health issues.

Free radicals break cells and tissues. As the body ages, it loses the strength to fight the effects of free molecules in our bodies. This results in more cell damage and tissue weakening. The process we all tag as “normal ageing”.

This can damage and affect the DNA (nucleic acids), body proteins, lipids, cell membranes, and other parts of the body. Damage to proteins (protein cross-linking and more) and other body components may cause disease directly. Examples of these diseases are cancer and high blood pressure 

How to Reduce Free Radicals?

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Antioxidant rich foods

As stated earlier, free radicals are natural, so we can’t get rid of them. However, you can reduce its effects and curb oxidative stress in your body. The most effective way is to replenish your body with “Antioxidants”. These antioxidants are more common in the food we consume. They include vitamin A, vitamin E, beta-carotene, anthocyanidins (in berries), epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) in green tea, and a lot more. You can also take antioxidant supplements to reduce these molecules in the body.

The process of reducing the number of free radicals in the body involves both preventive and corrective measures. By eating anti-oxidant-rich foods and adopting a healthy lifestyle, we can suppress the production of free molecules in our bodies. 

Measures you can take to avoid the production of free radicals include avoiding processed food and cigarettes, eating more greens, and having frequent health checkups.

In all, free radicals damage contributes to the etiology of many chronic health problems such as cardiovascular and inflammatory disease, cataracts, and cancer. The process is natural, you can adopt lifestyle changes to help reduce the number of these radicals in your body.

Try supplementing your diet today with healthy foods and watch your overall health improve! To get quality health supplements go to our online store today to place your order. Also, follow us on Instagram to learn more about how to improve your health through nature’s gifts.

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